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The use of plants in making dishes can be very broad and, fortunately, they are increasingly present in our society. The nutritional benefits, particularly mineral salts and vitamins, are too great for us not to use them. The flavor that these give to food goes far beyond a simple ingredient. They have the ability to complement flavors, intensify aromas and surprise the taste buds, with aromas such as sweet, salty, bittersweet, mentholated, camphorous, astringent, spicy, bitter and fresh. For example, in a stir-fry that contains parsley, if you add ground coriander seed, it has the ability to intensify the sweetness of the parsley, resulting in a richer and more exotic stir-fry.

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Some herbs are more suitable for use fresh and others are used both fresh and dried, whilst still maintaining all their organoleptic characteristics. Some tolerate long cooking, such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, savory and pennyroyal. Others enhance and balance the dishes more if added at the end, such as coriander, basil and chives.

Excessive use of some during production can also compromise the final result. Using them sparingly, when we have not yet mastered their behavior with the ingredients, is the best option.

In this book I have the recipes separated by herb, because the main herb, the one that highlights the dish, is the predominant one. However, I never fail to add others, in the middle or at the end, which as a whole will help to balance the dish. I cannot fail to mention, once again, the incredible ability of some plants to highlight sweet and savory, thus allowing a considerable reduction in the use of sugar and salt. In cake and sweet recipes I refer to the amount of sugar used in the original recipe, to understand the added value of using the herb in the recipe in question.

It is desirable to use organic plants, as well as all the ingredients, as it is during their preparation that they release their essences and properties. Good organic olive oil is essential, as well as butter and flour. They make all the difference in taste and especially in our health.

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