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Seasoning mixes using dried herbs

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Low-sodium seasoning blends

For vegetables: Combine 3/4 teaspoon crushed dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried savory with the grated peel of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and olive oil, 1 clove garlic, finely minced and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Let sit 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

For fish: Combine 1 tablespoon crushed dried Italian parsley and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried dill weed with 1/4 teaspoon each paprika and black pepper, 1 small clove garlic and 1 small shallot, each finely minced, and 1 tablespoon each olive oil and lemon or lime juice. Rub into the fish and marinate 30 to 60 minutes in refrigerator.

For poultry: Combine 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon each crushed dried sage and thyme with 1 tablespoon each olive oil and lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1 finely minced clove garlic. Rub into skinless chicken and marinate at least 1 hour in refrigerator.

Fines herbes: The traditional French blend of equal parts tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives. Use with chicken and fish, and egg dishes such as omelets.

Herbs de Provence: Combine 2 tablespoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried savory, 1 1/4 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram. Store in a tightly covered jar. Use on baked lemon chicken, tomatoes or pizza toppings.

Dried bouquet garni: Combine equal parts dried parsley, bay leaf and thyme. Tie in cheesecloth bags. Use in soups and stews.


Herb vinegar: Combine 1 1/2 cups fresh herb leaves that have been cleaned and dried, 2 lightly crushed and peeled cloves garlic and a 12-ounce bottle red or white wine vinegar in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Heat gently in a microwave on a low setting, just until warm. (Or heat the mixture in a saucepan on low heat.) Cool. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 weeks. Strain the vinegar and store in a clean bottle in refrigerator. "Flavored Vinegars-50 Recipes for Cooking with Infused Vinegars" by Michael Chiarello with Penelope Wisner.


Herb oil: Use the freshest herbs available and a lighter-flavored olive oil such as Bertolli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil so that the flavor of the herb is not overpowered. For delicate leaves such as basil, mint, chives and cilantro, blanch 2 cups packed herb leaves in boiling water 5 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled. Drain well and squeeze out excess moisture. Puree in a blender or food processor with 1 cup olive oil. Set aside 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, then again through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Pour into a clean jar, cover and refrigerate. For tougher, sturdier leaves, such as rosemary, heat the herbs and oil together in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Set aside 60 minutes before straining.

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