By Chef Alli on July 27, 2020
Choosing between fresh herbs or dried spices is a matter of culinary preference. If you’re cooking a dish that needs to simmer longer than 45 minutes, you have two choices: add the dried spices at the beginning of the preparation, or wait until you’re ready to serve the dish, incorporating the fresh herbs only then.
Can a dish include both dried spices AND fresh herbs? Absolutely! Again, be sure you are always adding the spices at the beginning of the cooking process and fresh herbs at the time of serving the dish. Because herbs are young and tender in their fresh state, their flavor and essence are delicate and can quickly be cooked away.
Keep in mind spices pack a stronger flavor, so if you’re substituting dried spices in place of fresh herbs, you’ll be using a much smaller quantity.
Dried spices eventually lose their flavor over time as they are stored. To bring back their essence, add the spices to your pan or skillet over medium heat as the very first ingredient of your recipe; once you begin to smell the essence of the chosen spice, quickly continue with the recipe so the spices in the cooking vessel aren’t scorched. This technique is called “blooming” and is very effective for bringing spices to life again.