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Classic Fine Herbs

April 16, 2009 | Condiments, Technique

The French have a classic herb combination called fine herbes that includes chives, tarragon, parsley and chervil. I don’t ever see chervil plants to grow, and often in the US that ingredient is left out. But the classic flavor combination is a wonderful mix you’ll want to become acquainted with this summer, especially if you’re growing an herb garden.
All three of these herbs are perennials for me in my garden and in fact my herbs are quite large already. I don’t think the parsley is supposed to be a perennial, but it was so warm this winter it never died. I like to finely chop the chives first, then mince the tarragon (leaves only) and parsley (small stems are fine, just toss the big woody ones), then mince the whole thing together.

You can use fine herbs in a multitude of dishes – here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • sprinkle on fish and bake
  • toss into scrambled eggs or omelets
  • simmer with some heavy cream for a decadent sauce for chicken or fish
  • mix with softened butter to make a compound herb butter and slip some under the skin of chicken breasts before baking
  • stir into rice or mashed potatoes
  • use as a unique seasoning for chicken salad or potato salad

Chives on Foodista

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