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Most home cooks know the benefits of adding herbs to savory foods like
meat and vegetables, but have you ever considered adding them to fruit
and desserts? Herbs not only offer great health benefits, they also
bring out a certain essence in some foods that we may not even notice
was lacking. The uses of such spices as cinnamon, ginger and clove are
well-known, so let's give our leafy friends the exposure they deserve.
Here are six common herbs (most can even be grown in your kitchen
window) that will take your desserts and fruit dishes to another level.
Thyme is a woodsy herb that makes one think of Fall, but it also pairs
wonderfully with fruits in any season. Since it can overpower some
flavors, try it in small amounts with strawberries, cherries, melons or
Rosemary is the spiny needle of a fragrant evergreen shrub that's known
for adding flavor to meats. Use this in small amounts to bring out the
flavor in berry dishes and compotes.
This sweet herb that lends such a characteristic flavor to many
Mediterranean dishes also works well with the fruits of the region,
namely dates and figs. It also compliments stone fruits like cherries,
peaches, and plums.
Mint is not so unusual in dessert dishes, but most people don't
recognize the potential in pairing minty flavor with the sweetness of
fruit. Though it doesn’t work well with everything, try it with berries,
stone fruit and orchard fruits like apples and pears.
The sweet, fragrant purple flowers of this plant are known for their
medicinal and emotional properties, and they are the perfect foil for
tart fruits like raspberries and citrus. Try some lavender lemonade for a
new favorite summer cooler.
Parsley is more than just a garnish, and this grassy herb lends a
surprising element to desserts and salads that contain melon and
tropical fruits like coconut, mango and bananas.
Tim Love is an example of a well-known chef who brings new ideas,
innovation and confidence to professional and hone cooks alike. The
prevalence of celebrity chefs and cooking shows have allowed us all to
explore our inner Child. Once you learn the basics of creative
gastronomy from the pros, you'll enjoy putting this knowledge to good
use in your home or restaurant.