Think Outside the Salt and Pepper

Spice up your meals  with this often-overlooked condiment.

I recently went to a friend’s house for dinner, and I noted that on her table, right next to her salt and pepper, she always has a small bowl of torn herbs. It’s usually a rough mix of cilantro, parsley, basil, tarragon, oregano, mint, fenugreek or dill, and there is no recipe; it’s all about what’s fresh and left over in her fridge. She uses these bits as a condiment to sprinkle on any kind of meal, and I was shocked to find out how well it works. From simple roasted chicken to spicy pad Thai to soups and salads, the hint of fresh greens never fails to brighten every bite.

the benefits

1. Fresh herbs contain concentrated levels of polyphenols, the antioxidant property of leafy greens.

2. You can reduce food waste by using every last leaf of your bunch. Toss any extra tidbits into the bowl and store in the fridge in between meals.

3. Herbs are known for boosting immunity and fighting inflammation in the body.

4. This method encourages you to experiment with flavors and think outside the box. Don’t relegate cilantro to just tacos; don’t think of basil only in terms of Italian. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how they can cross culinary lines.

5. It’s not just for dinner. Bring out the bowl of herbs for breakfast and lunch too. Throw some fresh herbs on scrambled eggs, toss some in a bowl of soup or atop a turkey sandwich. You can’t go wrong.

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