Monday, April 27, 2009

Name That Herb Winner

Congratulations to Jamie
Thank you Jamie for correctly identifying this week's Mystery Herb. A copy of my oregano handbook is winging its way to you.

Because I love the unique flavor of anise, I love this herb. This week's mystery herb is Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata). A perennial herb, it pops up in the garden very early in the spring.

This picture was taken last week in Simon's garden and already it is well on its way to full growth. In his garden it grows at least a couple of feet tall- it must be very happy in his garden, I never could get it to raise that high.

I use the fresh leaves in spring salads and cooked with other greens like Swiss chard, beet tops and kale, to add a note of  sweetness to balance their bitterness. It can be chopped and added to both sweet and savory breads and cakes and cookies. 

I dry and team it with other herbs for a rich tea blend. In fact, I almost always include Sweet Cicely with all my tea blends because it adds just a note of vanilla, anise and sweetness..

In the fall, this herb will be featured again because there are some wonderful things you can do with the seeds.
 Tune in Friday for next week's NAME that HERB- Friday May 1

1 comment:

  1. There is a minor holiday in Morocco that small cookies seasoned with whole anise seeds. I was served those cookies and took an immediate liking to them and craved them later. I bought a bag of the seeds to bring home thinking I might make the cookies one day. After researching anise seeds I discovered my craving was related to slow gall bladder function and the seeds help the gall bladder release bile. Now I eat them after meals that include fried foods or meats.



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