Cooking With Herbs – When to Add Herbs During Food Preparation

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

     Unlike dried herbs, fresh herbs are usually added toward the end in cooked dishes to preserve their flavor.  Add the more delicate herbs such as basil, chives, cilantro, dill leaves, parsley, marjoram and mint a minute or two before the end of cooking or sprinkle them on the food before it’s served.
    The less delicate herbs, such as dill seeds, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and thyme can be added about the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking.  Obviously, for some foods, such as breads and batters, you’ll need to add herbs at the beginning of the cooking process.
    Fresh herbs can be added to refrigerated cold foods several hours before serving.  Allow time (at least a couple of hours, if possible) for cold foods with herbs to chill helps the flavors to blend.
    For additional information, contact Susan Chase, Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences with Beaufort County Cooperative Extension at 946-0111.