Posted by: Natalia Elko
It’s summertime, which for my home means the cooking is plentiful. During the warmer months, I like to keep my meals interesting with flavors that are ever-zesty. Here are a few of my favorite summer herbs and the delicious dishes they help make stand out.
Basil is perfect to pair with a variety of meals – either as an add-on to an exceptional appetizer or the finishing touch to a delectable dessert. Wonderfully fragrant, no other herb captures the essence of the season quite as well. To keep your basil optimally fresh, place in the Thermador Delicate Produce Bins or skip storing in the refrigerator and instead house in a glass of water on a sunny spot of your counter with the leaves standing upright. With either of these optimal storing options, you’ll be sure to taste every ounce of flavor no matter what recipe you choose to add to.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate this seasonal favorite is in a refreshing Southeast Asian-Style Spring Roll recipe. Traditionally prepared with Thai basil and fish sauce for a unique regional flavor, this spring roll exudes an amazingly authentic flair. Accompanied by a sweet peanut dipping sauce or even accentuated with shrimp, these delightful bites are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four hours. To ensure my spring rolls are kept perfectly chilled, I turn to my Thermador 36-Inch Built-In Fresh Food Column. With the unique ThermaFresh System, precise temperature management and humidity control see to it that my spring rolls remain party-ready until serving time.
Although often thought of as a winter herb, the resonant flavor of rosemary and its potent aroma makes it a wonderful coupling to summertime cuisine. Rosemary also makes for a delicious marinade when cooking tasty meat dishes or when roasted atop vegetables for a savory side. It truly is the ultimate addition to an array of recipes.
Meaning “mountain joy,” oregano is the perfect addition to your summertime staples. Known for its role in Italian and Mexican recipes, the robust herb offers an appetizing earthy flavor to meals, making it the ultimate herb for summer grilling.
Subtle but flavorful, Thyme adds depth to favorite seasonal dishes. With a lingering essence that’s exceptionally versatile, thyme is the ideal addition to a variety of recipes – from grilled meats, to sautéed veggies, and as a topper for pasta and omelets.
A standard summer activity, grilling is a must during this time of year. One of my favorite dishes that incorporates all the aforementioned herbs is a tasty Grilled Steak recipe. Seasoned with minced thyme, rosemary and oregano, I sprinkle both sides of the meat, gently pressing in the herbs, and add fresh pepper and salt before cooking. For the perfect grill, I turn to my Thermador 60-Inch Pro Grand® Steam Range. With the indoor grill and griddle combo, you can fully experience the flavors of summer without ever stepping outside. Complete with a side of Tuscan Style Herb-Roasted Carrots, this decadent dish makes for the ultimate summer entrée.
One last herb I can’t live without during the summer is a savory mint. Similar to a potent basil, mint can add an unexpected zest to your dish and is often paired with lamb, zucchini and as a topper for an assortment of desserts. While spearmint is sweeter and more nuanced than peppermint, either variety infuses just the right amount of flavor.
My favorite way to indulge is with a Bread Pudding with Strawberries recipe. Made from a tasty mix of raisin bread, chocolate and pudding, and garnished with whipped cream and fresh mint, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and refreshing. Topped with ripe summer berries, there’s no better ending to any warm weather meal.
To give my selections a try, check out the full recipes below. What are your favorite summer herbs? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on our social channels: www.facebook.com/thermador, @ThermadorHome and @Thermador.