© 2019 by Peter Harman, FoodGuru.com, and FoodGuruUniversity.com. All rights reserved.

Jun 26

Fresh vs. Dried Herbs


Edited: Jun 26



WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?  Here's some Herb Insight that'll help you make new dishes that say WOW! I prefer fresh herbs to dry herbs anytime but they both have an important place in my kitchen. Smell them, taste them, YOU WILL FIND OUT... EXPERIMENT


Fresh Herbs: Fresh Herbs like Basil, Cilantro, Thyme and Dill have a very explosive flavor and should be added at the end of the recipe so their flavor and aroma stay alive. Fresh herbs are expensive, spoil quickly and are hard to grow in your garden. Think of fresh herbs as you would fresh flowers, they are alive and delicate.


Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking or just on the plate. Fresh herbs will lose their flavor quickly as they cook. When fresh herbs begin to get old and tired grind or chop them and preserve them covered in OLIVE or other oil.


  • Make BASIL PESTO: Puree basil in food processor, add garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and salt & pepper.  See PESTO recipe in the sauce chapter

  • ROSEMARY: Is very dominant, add it to your olive oil bottle and use it as a dip for bread in, or as just a splash to finish a dish.

  • OREGANO: Try some fresh oregano on pasta tonight...!

  • DILL: Finish fish dishes with fresh dill


Dried Herbs: Need to be re-hydrated for their flavors to come back to life. Dried herbs create great background flavors, in recipes such as tomato sauces, soups and stocks. Add dried herbs at the beginning stages of a recipe or in spice blends. Dried herbs should be used in the early stages of the recipe so they can re-hydrate and allow their flavors to bloom during cooking. Some of my recipes use the same herb both dried and fresh, AND they are added at different stages in the recipe to create what I call different levels of taste.


Think of Fresh Herbs as a living plant that will die when cooked and dried herbs as dormant herbs that need to be brought...BACK to LIFE. Experiment a little, buy fresh herbs and taste them against their dried counterparts to learn the difference. The most important thing is to use herbs that YOU like, herbs that taste good to you and your family. Soon you to will be creating some Very Exciting WOW Dishes of your own!


Sometimes I use both:

DRIED HERBS at the beginning of a recipe and FRESH HERBS at the END. The next time you make spaghetti, try this. Use dried basil and oregano in the beginning of the recipe as the sauce simmers.  Then top it with FRESH BASIL when you serve it. I guarantee your family will say... WOW!


Freeze-Dried Herbs:

Are really good if you can find them. They keep their color and taste much better than traditionally dried herbs...

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