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Herbs for all tastes

With spring, herbs give their best results when cooking: they colour, perfume and add an unmistakable flavour. These are my tips for using them (with recipes!)

Sunday morning, spring air, that need to clear my mind… I have no doubt where to go, to the garden centre of course and plunge into the scent of aromatic herbs!

Surrounded by greenery – which is so relaxing to the eye – and stimulated by the scents that waft through this magical place, my mind starts to fill with pleasant sensations. 

Sensations I like to find again once at home, in my kitchen filled with herbs.  They are an element in the recipes I like to cook with, and I use them depending on my mood, a little like choosing to wear a shirt of one colour rather than another in the morning.

Every dish has its scents

Certain rules are fundamental, of course, like knowing that rosemary alters its qualities and becomes bitter when cooked or knowing how to use them in the right moderation. 

Other than that, I decide, for example, whether to use marjoram or basil for a tomato sauce, or if to add oregano instead of basil on the pizza at the last moment.  

Even for a roast if I feel like a traditional Lombardy recipe I use rosemary, but if I am thinking of Sardinia I might go out into the garden and pick a few sprigs of myrtle.

A frittata with vegetables is delicious with any herb, so every time I make it, it smells different, and the aromatic bouquet I use for the broth (by the way, here is how to make it) is never the same.

My guests are surprised when I serve them a dish of fresh pasta or potato gnocchi into which I add the herbs: a quick way to make a tasty recipe by adding that small personal touch.

I could go on and on, because I find them so versatile: my advice is to try and experiment with new aromas and flavours!

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