Aromatic plants are part of the popular culture throughout the Mediterranean shore. Today we wanted to remind you that many of them we have at a step and they play a great role in the kitchen. If you want to give your recipes a unique and special touch and enhance the flavor of each food in a natural way, read, imagine, innovate and creat delicious dishes!
We can find it indistinctly along the Mediterranean coast and up to 1,500 meters above sea level. Rosemary is a very useful and irreplaceable plant in the kitchen for its excellent fragrance, especially in Mediterranean cuisine, where it is used mostly for meat, fish and sauces. Do you want a trick? Add a branch to your cocktail and your jams. It will give them an exquisite touch! It will also give a very special aroma to baked potatoes if you add a branch next to them or if you cut it small and season them.
Live in dry and stony places, usually near the forest. It combines especially well with tomatoes, which makes it a great and successful additive for salads. It is also an inseparable companion to stews, pasta sauces, pizzas and, even, grilled steaks rubbed with the herb before cooking them. The oil of this aromatic herb is also used as an antioxidant to give protection in the preparation of sausages and other meat derivatives.
Laurel plant is a very widespread plant, especially in temperate countries such as the Mediterranean ones. Cultivated since ancient times of ancient Rome, it is found in forests and is very appreciated for its aromatic fragrance and for the particularity of its leaves, which is that they do not lose their aroma after cooking. Today, laurel is commonly used in cooking around the world to flavor vegetable stews, fish and seafood. Of course, it should be used sparingly as it unifies the flavors covering the food itself.
Fennel is a wild plant native from the Mediterranean coast. It is a vegetable from which everything is used, for its active principles: the bulb as a vegetable, the seeds as a curandera species and the stems and leaves as aromatic herbs. Fennel is very useful to promote digestion: seeds can be used as species to accompany flatulent dishes or as an infusion. The bulb can be cooked like any other vegetable and will provide many health benefits and a very special aniseed flavor that combines very well in a good vegetable broth for example. A plant not to waste anything!
It is found, mostly, on dry hillsides exposed to the sun, on clayey lands and stony ground. Thyme is an aromatic medicinal plant. Formerly the Romans used it in the kitchen to perfume wines and cheeses, now they are known a lot of extraordinary properties for both health and beauty. As a gastronomic condiment, it perfectly combines minced and sprinkled with fish and vegetables, as well as with lamb or chicken. One of the most common uses is thyme soup, traditionally made with bread, thyme branches, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.
The parsley can be found throughout the cool and wet regions and also on the rocky shores of the Mediterranean (where it originated). It is usually used fresh and chopped or in a “bouquet garni” (bouquet of different herbs linked) added to soups and stews of meat or fish. Another common use is mixed with bread crumbs to batter, but perhaps where it gains more prominence is in the famous green sauce, which has this color and name for the use of this aromatic plant and is widely used to accompany the hake. From always, the parsley is not used to sell, but is given to customers. A curiosity: to remove the taste of garlic from your mouth, it’s good to chew parsley!
The basil, indigenous to the Mediterranean, is often used in our kitchen in salads, vegetable soups, sauces and also in stews of any type of meat. The chopped leaves serve to flavor salads, rice, pasta, soups, mushrooms, eggs, meats and to make the famous Italian pesto sauce. It is a very fragrant and fresh herb that will provide an interesting ‘plus’ to your dishes in terms of taste and aromas.
One of the most classic herbs we find, especially in the most humid areas. It is the essence of the famous mojitos and mint tea that refreshes us in summer and warms us in winter. Its refreshing taste makes it combine very well with fruits, cold soups (we like it a lot with melon soup) and juices. A trick: if the mint tea is prepared together with some peeled pistachios and a tip of honey, it is delicious! An herb that always brings a refreshing point on the table, it is also antioxidant and facilitates digestion.
Lavender is a plant of small lilac flowers from the Mediterranean and has been used mostly in cosmetics and perfumery, taking advantage of the qualities of its essential oils that give these products a very pleasant smell. But it also has other uses, and culinary has proliferated in recent years, especially in baking. For example, an idea is to add some of its flowers in the sugar or flour pot, which will give them a special aroma to prepare exquisite desserts.
The dill, although we can also find it in the mountains of the Mediterranean, is one of the most used condiments in Scandinavian and Nordic cuisine. Its aniseed and slightly bitter aroma combines perfectly with fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and even trout, which makes it the aromatic herb par excellence of fish. It also combines very well with yogurt, sour cream and eggs. At Naturaki we improvise a sauce to eat the summers based on yogurt, oil, salt, vinegar, honey and a touch of dill. All well blended combines wonderfully with a refreshing cucumber salad or with a baked salmon. A quick and delicious recipe!
Do you already salivate? We do! We are well prepared to put on our mountain boots and go to collect these aromatic herbs from the Mediterranean to give an aromatic and flavorful touch to our dishes.
Cover photo: sportlife.es