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Enjoying the Flavours of Spring with Dried Herbs and Spices

Can you believe that the warmer weather is almost here? As the flowers bloom and the days grow longer, spring calls us to refresh our palates with vibrant flavours and lighter meals.

One of the best ways to celebrate the arrival of this rejuvenating season is by infusing our dishes with the essence of dried herbs and spices. From awakening dormant taste buds to adding depth and complexity to your culinary creations, dried herbs and spices are indispensable companions in the kitchen as spring unfolds its wonders.

While Springtime brings forth fresh produce, dried herbs and spices offer a convenient way to add bursts of flavour to your dishes year-round. Whether you’re sprinkling dried basil over a Caprese salad or infusing your favourite soups with the warmth of cumin and paprika, spices can make every bite that much better.

Incorporating dried herbs and spices into your cooking not only enlivens the flavors but also provides a myriad of health benefits. From antioxidant-rich oregano to metabolism-boosting cinnamon, these pantry staples pack a nutritional punch.

Here are a few recipes to inspire your springtime creations:

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Belle Donne Spices thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Belle Donne Spices rosemary
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Belle Donne Spices salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Place it in a roasting pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, dried thyme, dried rosemary, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  4. Rub the herb mixture all over the chicken, making sure to coat it evenly.
  5. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the juices run clear.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Serve hot and enjoy the bright flavors of spring!

 

Spring Vegetable Stir-Fry:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups mixed spring vegetables (such as asparagus, snap peas, carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli), thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Belle Donne Spices ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Belle Donne Spices crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Belle Donne Spices salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: sesame seeds, chopped green onions

Instructions:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the mixed spring vegetables to the skillet and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until they are tender-crisp.
  4. Sprinkle the dried ginger and crushed red pepper flakes over the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  5. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are heated through and well-coated with the spices.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the stir-fried vegetables to a serving dish.
  7. Garnish with optional toppings such as sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if desired. Serve hot as a flavourful and nutritious springtime meal.

 

Caprese Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Belle Donne Spices salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Arrange the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on a serving platter, alternating them in a decorative pattern.
  2. Tuck fresh basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices.
  3. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve immediately as a refreshing and vibrant springtime salad, allowing the flavors of the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to shine. Enjoy!

 

Cooking Tips:

  1. Store dried herbs and spices in a cool, dark place to preserve their potency and flavour.
  2. Crush whole spices just before using to release their essential oils and maximize their aroma.
  3. Experiment with different spice blends to discover new flavour combinations that delight your senses.

As we say goodbye to winter’s chill and embrace the warmth of spring, be sure to use your dried herbs and spices to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary experiences.

Happy Spring!

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