Dried or fresh herbs? (Plus two carrot recipes using both)

Originally, this was going to be a recipe article to share the carrots made at this years Friendsgiving (don’t worry — they’re still included). Then I realized this recipe only calls for fresh herbs.

I didn’t want to discourage someone from making this recipes solely based on the fact that they don’t have fresh herbs, so I included a dried herb variation as well. Almost any roasted vegetable can be just as amazing with only dried spices and herbs. I use them all the time in my kitchen and they are a wonderful substitute.

So when is it better to use fresh vs dried herbs?

  • Preparing uncooked dishes? Stick to fresh.
    For example, a corn salsa. Don’t put dried herbs in corn salsa, please. No one wants that. Or something like a refreshing salad; don’t use dried herbs. Add fresh parsley or mint.
  • When making cooked dishes, there’s a lot more freedom to use dried. (Heat is pretty much the main thing that will change the flavor properties of these herbs).

Important to know:

  • If a recipe calls for fresh herbs but you only have dried, use about 1/2, or even 1/3, of the serving amount. Dried herbs are far more potent/stronger in flavor than fresh herbs.
  • Dried herbs that cook well: rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaf.
  • Herbs that are best fresh: parsley, mint, basil, cilantro, dill.

I’m not sure if you notice a theme here so just to help you remember this rule of thumb:

Woodsy herbs (the ones that essentially have branches as stems, with smaller, tougher leaves) will always cook best and are great to use dried. It is those characteristics specifically that makes them resistant to change.

Herbs with light, thin leaves do not withstand drastic temperature changes with the same grace and will lose their flavor properties.



CARROTS ROASTED w. FRESH HERBS

INGREDIENTS

  • 8-10 carrots
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, (really just eyeball it yall)
  • fresh rosemary, about 4 stems
  • salt
  • ground black peppercorns

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice carrots however you choose. The width will determine cooking time. I chose to slice carrots down the center and leave them semi-whole.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Add carrots and drizzle with oil. Add garlic cloves, salt, ground black pepper, and rosemary. *TIP: To quickly take rosemary off the stem, hold one end, and with your other hand, run your fingers down the stem, moving the opposite direction that the leaves are growing.
  5. Place in ove and let roast about 30 – 40 minutes.

CARROTS ROASTED w. DRIED HERBS

INGREDIENTS

  • 8-10 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or more if you’re like me)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, (really just eyeball it yall)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • ground black peppercorns

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice carrots however you choose. (These were sliced thinner, and because of that, needed less time than the recipe above).
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Add carrots and drizzle with oil. Add garlic powder, rosemary, paprika, cayenne, salt, ground black pepper.
  5. Place in oven and let roast about 25 – 35 minutes.


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