Monday, 5 May 2008

Herbs are quite possibly some of the most versatile ingredients out there when it comes to cooking. They can deepen and enrich the flavor of whatever you might be cooking, turn a bland dish into one that *pops,* and even serve as a main ingredient in many recipes (traditional pesto made from basil, for instance). Herbs transcend borders and show up in all types of ethnic dishes, many of which are essential for regional cuisines and even drinks - think Insalata Caprese with bountiful leaves of freshly torn basil, Greek salads sprinkled with lemony oregano, chanterelles tossed in butter with tiny leaves of earthy thyme, and mojitos with fresh mint. And there is no season like Spring to capitalize on these little bundles of flavor, when fresh herbs start shooting up out of the ground and are ready to grace our tables for the next several months. Even better, they're one of the easiest things to grow and can be grown anywhere from tiny pots in the kitchen windowsill or massive fragrant herb gardens.

For healthy cooking, herbs are a cook's best friend. The scent and fresh taste of herbs can transform any dish from boring to spectacular without the use of lots of oil, heavy creams, cheeses or other flavorings that are typically not a (large) part of a healthy diet. This month for Heart of the Matter, we want to see the kinds of dishes you love to make with herbs. Choose a heart-healthy recipe where your favorite dried or fresh herb is an prominent ingredient and share it with the community of bloggers devoted to caring for your heart who participate in and read about this event. If you've participated in the popular Weekend Herb Blogging event over at Kalyn's Kitchen, then you've got the gist of this theme already - if you haven't, feel free to browse over there to get some ideas for how bloggers have incorporated herbs into healthy dishes - just make sure that your dish for the HotM event is heart-healthy. As always we ask that this please be a single event entry (please don’t use your post for other events, like Weekend Herb Blogging, that way we can keep things centered on healthy heart awareness - although please don't hesitate to submit different recipes to both)!

The rules: If you’ve participated before, you already know the basics. If you haven’t, check here, here and here for ideas on what “heart-healthy” means, and we hope that you’ll join us! Just send your entry to me via email (phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com) by midnight on Friday, May 30th and link to my site, The Accidental Scientist (and to the HotM blog if you’d like) and I’ll post the round-up on the following Monday or Tuesday on both sites. Thanks ahead of time for your participation - I'm already looking forward to using many of your recipes this spring and summer!


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Michelle my calendar shows Friday to be the 30th. I'm doing my post now.
Did you mean Thursday the 29th or Friday the 30th or am I in the wrong year? I have been known to do that.

Michelle said...

Friday will be great, dear, because I won't have time to do the round-up before the weekend! Sorry about that (and my delay in response - life is very busy right now!!). I'm so happy you'll be joining us!!