The art of the Herb

I don’t think I ever considered using a fresh herb other than curly parsley until I got my first high class waitressing job. Fresh herbs were in the same category as fresh figs and fresh dates. They must have grown somewhere, but I would have completely accepted the possibility of thyme being a very dusty and crumbly plant.
Does it really matter if you use a fresh herb, or just get as much dried leaf as somebody can pack into a gallon jar for 99 cents that supposed to be as good to use a hundred years from now as it is today? YES IT DOES!! And don’t let anybody tell you different.
And don’t make the mistake of more is better. A fresh herb takes a while to get the hang of. Start off easy. It’s like make up. It was hard to convince me when I was in the eighth grade, that a person doesn’t need as much make up as will fit onto the face to make the face a success. Unless you are making pesto, use just a sprig in a sauce or a soup. You can always add a little more at the end, and it adds to the complexity of a dish to start with an herb in the beginning to give it a chance to get in there and cook with everything else, and then a bit at the end to give it a whole different kind of raw and sassy zip.
Try pounding a few sprigs of fresh thyme with kosher salt in your mortar and pestle (buy one), and then drizzling in your beautiful extra virgin olive oil. Use on steak or roasted chicken or vegetables after they are cooked.
Have a little steak tonight. Why not? Serve it with sauteed wild mushrooms and braised leeks (clean the leeks, drizzle some olive oil in simmering water, and drop them in, cut into quarters. Remove them when they are soft) Add a little garlic clove to the water when you make the leeks and mash it into mashed potatoes.

One thought on “The art of the Herb

  1. Just wanted to say, I live in Greenpoint and stumbled upon your web site.. Love it.. Completely.. Keep up the great work and let me know when that cookbook comes out!

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