Publishing just in time for summer barbecues and outdoor picnics, the latest edition of Jill Norman’s acclaimed Herbs & Spices has been refreshed and redesigned to include the newest herbs, spices, and flavorings influencing global cuisine today, plus more than 180 recipes for main dishes, marinades, pastas, pickles, and sauces. Here Jill selects her top 10 list of must-have herbs and spices.
1. Cambodian kroeung spice pastes: Waken your taste buds with these intensely flavored spice pastes.
2. Fenugreek: This versatile plant is used for its leaves and seeds, from India across the Caucasus region to Turkey, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
3. Lavender: Add flavor to lamb or chicken with lavender. Put a few dried flowers into a jar of sugar, chop, and season. You can also infuse flowers in vinegar.
4. Marigolds: Marigolds aren’t just garden flowers, but flavorings from the Republic of Georgia to Mexico and Peru. Use the petals in salads, in aromatic mixtures with chilies, garlic, and walnuts. Mint marigold goes well with squash, corn, and avocado.
5. Myrtle: Grow this Mediterranean bush for its aromatic leaves, flowers, and berries and use for barbecues or slow-cooked pork belly.
6. Pomegranate: For a spin on a summer starter, try a Turkish pomegranate, olive, and walnut salad or Iranian pomegranate and herb soup.
7. Rose: Did you know that dried buds and petals from the fragrant Damask rose are used in Middle Eastern and North African spice mixtures? Rose water is added to many slow-cooked dishes.
8. Salt: Look for a new section on different salts and their uses with herbs and spices. Try sea bass baked in a salt crust or use Svanuri marili as a dip or seasoning.
9. Vietnamese balm: With its lemon and floral notes, Vietnamese balm is perfect for Asian soups, spring rolls, and noodles.
10. Yuzukosho: A tasty Japanese yuzu and chili paste, yuzukosho is best used to accompany ramen and udon noodles, tempura, or grilled chicken.
About the author
Jill Norman is a highly respected food writer who has written hundreds of food and drink books over many years. She was editor-in-chief for DK’s comprehensive The Illustrated Cook’s Book of Ingredients, as well as the internationally acclaimed The Cook’s Book.