Thursday, June 11, 2009

Basil and Cilantro

Don't you do just love fresh herbs? Dinner tastes like it was made in the garden!

What are your favorite herbs to use in meals? When we think of herbs, we think of basil, cilantro, oregano, sage, thyme, parsley, and mint. But those are typical herbs - can you think of any other herb that's unique but really good to cook with?

We especially love that different ethnic cuisines use the same herbs but in different ways. Basil in Thai and Italian. Oregano in Italian and Greek. Cilantro in Mexican and Thai. YUM!

Basil grows so well in Texas, and we used to have a garden of herbs, but our favorite was the basil! Although it dies every winter, it thrives in the summer once it's replanted. We love basil in Italian food - on homemade pizza or with simple bow tie pasta and olive oil and tomatoes.

Basil is also great with Thai food - we love Thai Country Restaurant in McMinnville, especially how they add fresh basil to curry dishes, fresh spring rolls, soups, and stir fries. Here we brought home leftovers of Spicy Green Bean and Tofu, Pineapple Red Curry, with some fresh asparagus, quinoa, and sticky rice. Try some Thai Tofu Saute with sweet Thai basil!

Cilantro is so cheap, but often we don't know what to do with all of it before it wilts. We jazz up our Thai Red Curry Tofu Scramble, served with some quinoa, corn tortilla, and white radish. We didn't have enough quinoa, so we thought a corn tortilla might go well with dinner :)

For a Mexican meal, we used the cilantro in Harmony House Foods Black Bean Soup and in a fresh Mexican salad, with avocado, tomatoes, chives, and a local greens mix. Delicious on a summer day! Try some Tortilla soup too!

Please let us know your favorite dishes to use basil and cilantro, and your favorite herbs!

Have a great Friday!

Thai Basil on FoodistaCilantro on Foodista

(Photos of fresh herbs taken by ethangeorgi)


Mihl said...

These are two of my favourite herbs, too! I love to make my own pesto and otherwise I just sprinkle fresh herbs onto everything! Another favourite of mine is tarragon. It goes so well with potatoes.

Anonymous said...

basil is definitely my favorite fresh herb

do you like fresh chives? they are so good with potatoes!

Andrea said...

I love all the herbs you mentioned. One of the best pasta dishes I ever had (in Italy) was a simple one with olive oil, basil and flat Italian parsley.

I also grow lovage, which tastes kind of like celery leaves. It adds a fresh, lively taste to raw salads.

Abby said...

I love basil!!! I am pretty new to cooking and to gardening so I don't have a very big palate as of yet, but I just love a nice basil and mozzarella and tomato sandwich! Simple and scrumptious! :)

aTxVegn said...

Cilantro is my favorite herb. My favorite way to use it is raw in my mixed greens salads and in my green smoothie dressing.

Vegetation said...

I love fresh herbs! I chop them and freeze them in little bags. It's like having fresh herbs ready whenever you need them!

My favourites are coriander, basil, dill (mmm I LOVE dill), oregano and tarragon. I quite like parsley too.

Dried herbs I recently discovered Sumac. I'm horribly addicted to it!

Amey said...

Hi Krista!
Thanks for your comment over on my blog. That Avocado Pistachio Poppyseed Lime pie is from "The Artful Vegan," and you can find it on Google Books. Go to page 179-180. The pie would be great without the white chocolate mousse, by the way. The mousse is a very finicky recipe, and makes WAY TOO MUCH. It does freeze well however. I ended up taking about 1/4 of the batch, adding agar and kudzu, and got a great consistency. Let me know if you need more specific details. Without the white chocolate, it's a surprisingly quick and easy pie.

(also, I just pour it from the blender into the pie shell, instead of the more complicated instructions offered).

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

Cilantro is my all time favoruite! Have you seen my cilantro pesto recipe?

The Voracious Vegan said...

YUM! What beautiful meals, so bright and colorful. I like to use cilantro in just about anything, I love the stuff!