This post comes courtesy of Jennifer Farley, blogger, recipe developer and food photographer at Savory Simple.
Are herbs a staple ingredient in your kitchen? They should be! Fresh and dried herbs are often associated only with savory foods such as pesto, roasts and sauces, but they also work wonderfully in baked goods. More often than not, I find fresh herbs to be superior in flavor to dried ones. But this is not always the case, as you will discover in the recipes below.
- Wash fresh herbs immediately after purchase and dry them thoroughly in a salad spinner. Then wrap them in a paper towel and store them in the refrigerator until needed.
- Fresh herbs freeze beautifully. Chop them up and store them in a labeled freezer bag until needed. You’ll be able to add them directly to dishes when cooking.
- Dried herbs such as lavender will lose their flavor with time. But they can also be expensive, which is why buying in bulk is so appealing. Store dried herbs in the freezer to prolong their shelf life.
|Rosemary Apricot Bars
It had never occurred to me to use rosemary in a dessert until I came across this recipe for Rosemary Apricot Bars, courtesy of David Lebovitz and the authors of Baked Explorations. This dessert is not difficult to make, though it has many steps. The combination of rosemary shortbread, brandied apricot paste and streusel topping are out-of-this-world delicious.
|Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Most people associate lavender with soaps and fragrances, but dried lavender is a wonderful ingredient for baking! You don’t want to use too much because the flavor can be overpowering, but a small amount can transform an average dish into something special.
|Fresh Mint-Chocolate Truffle Tart
Mint and chocolate are a classic combination, and this beautiful tart showcases both flavors in an elegant way. Confectioners’ sugar dusted over a waxed paper stencil creates a lovely decorative finish that will impress at any holiday party.
|Roasted Pears with Honey, Bay and Greek Yogurt
Fresh bay leaves contain unique hints of pine and white pepper. In this recipe, they lend their intriguing aroma, usually reserved for savory dishes, to a simple dessert of honeyed pears flavored with almond-scented amaretto, toasty nuts and tart Greek-style yogurt.
|Herb and Olive Focaccia
This savory Italian bread — featuring oregano, rosemary or sage — is a versatile addition to your repertoire of recipes. Serve it alongside soups, salads or frittatas, or top it with slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese for an easy open-faced sandwich.
About the author: Jennifer Farley is the owner, recipe developer and food photographer of Savory Simple. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD where she trained in classic French technique. Jennifer currently works as a recreational cooking instructor and social media marketer. She resides in the Washington DC metropolitan area and can often be found exploring the local culinary scene in search of new inspiration.