Whether you’re planning ahead for Christmas dinner or looking for inspiration for some hearty, healthy winter meals, you’ll want to get your spice rack stocked up with some essentials and we’re here to help.
An Introduction to Pairing Herbs
When it comes to slow-cooked winter meals, the flavor of the herbs infuses into the sauce over time. A good rule of thumb is to use one stronger flavored herb and two milder ones. The more robust herb brings out all the flavors, while the milder herbs help to balance the meal. In Italian cooking, a traditional trio of herbs is often thyme, parsley and a bay leaf, with the additional of rosemary if called for. Robust (or strong) herbs include oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.
Herbs to Stock Up On
Whether it’s a soup, sauce, stew or curry, bay leaves are a must. They add a subtle depth of flavor and a distinctive aroma with eucalyptus and menthol notes. You don’t need much when you cook, so they’re good value for money and will last for many happy, hearty meals with family and friends.
Dried oregano is used in most Mexican and Italian recipes, especially when there’s cheese and tomato in the mix! Think tomato-rich pizza and pasta or Mexican chili con carne, and you’ll quickly realize that oregano will be your best friend if you’re preparing hearty comfort food this winter.
This hearty, flavorful herb is exceptionally versatile, elevating most grilled dishing, including chicken and lamb and roast winter vegetables. It’s also used in side dishes, such as focaccia bread and even soups, for an unforgettable meal.
A popular herb used throughout the year, thyme really shines in the winter months, whether you’re preparing a roast, a soup or a stew.
Another delicious herb with a fresh flavor profile, parsley is an all-rounder that ties together the flavors of most slow-cooked meals and can be used as a garnish in presentation.
Winter is all about comfort food, which means slow cooking, soups simmering on the stovetop and stews left to do their magic in a crock pot producing meat so tender it falls off the bone.
But if you’re putting all that time and effort into feeding your family food from the heart, you want your meals to be showstoppers. And that’s where the right mix of herbs comes in. Stock up your pantry with bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and parsley so that when it comes time to cook, you have everything you need to produce a nourishing, hearty (and delicious!) meal.