TAKE FLAVOUR TO ANOTHER LEVEL

COOK­ING WITH HERBS MAKES A DISH COM­PLETE. WHERE WOULD WE BE WITH­OUT BASIL, THYME AND OREGANO, FOR IN­STANCE? HERE’S A RECIPE WITH AN ITAL­IAN IN­FLU­ENCE

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - WORDS: VICKI TAY­LOR

I’m more of a spice girl my­self, but I still have a lot of re­spect for herbs and there are just some dishes that you can’t make with­out them. I ac­tu­ally do use a lot of flat leaf pars­ley and co­rian­der when­ever I cook Moroc­can, Mid­dle Eastern or In­dian food. South-East Asia is es­pe­cially known for its de­li­cious, fresh and vi­brant food and this is where herbs play king be­cause with­out them, the dishes wouldn’t be as ex­otic or taste as fresh. Think Viet­namese, Thai or Cam­bo­dian and you get the gist. Like spice, in-vogue fresh ex­otic herbs from lands afar are pretty easy to get hold of th­ese days and this is partly due to cook­ing show in­flu­ences and the fact that we are a very mul­ti­cul­tural na­tion. When I moved from the UK to Aus­tralia in 2000 I was dis­ap­pointed that I couldn’t get a lot of what I call ‘funky herbs and spices’ like fenu­greek, nigella seed, Viet­namese mint etc but to­day they are more read­ily avail­able, thank good­ness. It’s fun re­cre­at­ing dishes at home from your trav­els – it brings back lovely hol­i­day mem­o­ries. Here’s a tip for you about herbs. They are stronger dried than they are fresh. If a recipe calls for a cup of freshly chopped pars­ley (or any herb for that mat­ter) you can sub­sti­tute with dried pars­ley and the ra­tio is 1:3. So a ta­ble­spoon of dried pars­ley would be the same as three ta­ble­spoons of fresh pars­ley.

Visit Vicki at Red Hot Chilli Pep­per, 9/65 Bul­cock St, Caloun­dra.

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