Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another Thing that Always Makes Me Happy - Fresh Herbs

If you visit me often, you know that I love using fresh herbs and that they're not so easy to come by here in Halifax (especially in the winter). Of course you can always get beautiful, fragrant (and long lasting) herbs at the Halifax Market on Saturdays. That is, of course if you get up before dawn and hit the market before 7am (that's when the serious foodies shop) or, if you don't mind the dawdling, socializing mob later in the morning, you could go at a more reasonable hour.

Sometimes, I don't make it at all on Saturday, or I get inspired for some herb or other during the week that I don't have on hand. Finding them then, my friends, is another story. The local super grocery stores (and there aren't too many non-super grocery stores) might - I repeat MIGHT have the type of herb you want, but even if they do, chances are they'll be limp and flavorless. Pete's Frootique is the best option, but that means getting in the car and making a special trip. I know what you're thinking - Stop whining, didn't you just post a "be happy" meme? True enough!

Another weekend ritual and one that really does make me happy (usually Saturday, if I don't hit the market) is making frittatas for breakfast. I love to use up the slightly limp veggies, etc., in the fridge before stocking up on fresh.

You can find a variety of my frittatas here, but typically they consist of lots of green - spinach, or like today beet greens, fresh herbs (my favorites - cilantro, basil, oregano, mint, parsley - combinations or solo), some additional flavor - pesto, chipotle, jalapeno, (today was a sun dried tomato pesto and the smallest piece of jalapeno finely chopped - and I thought the smaller the hotter, so how come this giant jalapeno was so spicy? but I digress...), cheese - goat, manchego, asiago or like today, crumbled feta - very healthful and very South Beach Diet friendly.

And now the real reason for this post....Last week I was at the local grocery stores and couldn't find fresh oregano so, after reading the back of the little plastic container (oh for those huge bunches of vibrant colour, aroma and crispness) describing marjoram (an herb I've never fancied but forgotten why) - they said it was similar to oregano - so I bought it and used it in the frittata which looked like it usually does. I was surprised at the off-putting (for me) perfumey flavor and realized ...oh yeah, that's why I don't like marjoram. Where oh where is oregano when I want it? By the way...my Honey loved it - to each his own, I guess.

Is there one herb that you turn your nose up at?

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5 comments:

Kalyn said...

Lavender! I don't even like the smell that much. When people write about it for WHB I do try to be tactful, but I don't like it at all.

Ruth Daniels said...

I know what you mean. Although last year I made a lovely lavender honey infusion that does taste awesome over vanilla ice cream. And it is the lavender that gives Herbes aux Province that je ne sais quoi. Thanks for sharing.

Patsyk said...

Everyone seems to love cilantro, but that is one I just can't handle. I do keep trying it, thinking that at some point I might actually have a change of heart.

Bellini Valli said...

Fresh herbs are certainly hard to find deep in the throws of winter. I buy them, but usually only get one use out of them before they wilt and die...so sad...

Ruth Daniels said...

Bellini Valli, I did a great post about keeping herbs fresh longer...
http://askruth.blogspot.com/2006/03/how-to-keep-herbs-fresh.html