copyright 2013 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc.
If variety is the spice of life…I had a’ spicy’ 4 days in Seattle Washington…. there for appearances at Festa Italiana and also throughout the city and Bainbridge Island for book signings, cooking demos, meet and greets, cooking events…. such a variety of places, people, foods, tastes in 4 short days….we will be posting recipes and photos from the events soon! Thanks Festa Italiana..and to everyone who helped and attended at my events..
Whether fresh or dried, herbs and spices are the essence of life—particularly life in the kitchen! Fresh dill complements any salad; and what is tomato sauce without fresh basil or guacamole without garden fresh cilantro? What about blending herbs to make a new, distinct flavor to add to your delectable dishes?
Combinations of herbs and spices can be concocted to make even the simplest vegetables soar with flavor. Herb combos can be made with or without salt, depending on your preference. In fact, mixing salt with spices become herbed salts—something you can sprinkle onto any meal instead of plain old salt.
When making an herb mixture, there are 2 important things to remember:
- Measurements are key—too much of one herb will overpower the other flavors in the mixture. Start with small amounts and add more to taste.
- Use herbs that will complement one another in the same dish, yet don’t be afraid to try some unfamiliar combinations. You might come across a blend that could become a family favorite!
It is no secret that oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme are classic Italian herbs. They season most Italian dishes with a special zeal. However, have you ever tried adding some different spices or herbs to your pasta ‘sugo’ or sauce? Cilantro may not be a typical Italian herb, but chop some up and add it to your sauce for a particularly interesting flavor combination.
Making Homemade herbed salt
Try this: Mix 1 cup of coarse sea salt with 2 tsp each: dill seed, coriander seed, cumin seed, and whole peppercorns. Pour this mixture into a clear “pepper mill” and you now have some freshly ground salt to spice up your meals every time. This also makes a great gift for the food lovers on your list who are otherwise impossible to buy for.
Each herb and spice has its own distinct flavor and when you blend it with other herbs and spices, it adds or changes the essence. Be creative, but remember to add herbs and spices in small steps. You can always add more but you can’t take it away!
For more recipes get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition
See you this Saturday October 5th, at my cooking demo/book signing appearance at West Windsor Farm Market in West Windsor NJ, Saturday from 10=12..see you then! For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org