Somehow an assortment of fresh herbs ready and waiting in the refrigerator makes us more creative cooks. We never fail to be amazed by the life they give to our spur-of-the-moment culinary flourishes. Without opening a cookbook for advice, we’ve been able to take everyday dishes up a notch with the help of fresh herbs. Keeping in mind that, with few exceptions, herbs are meant to enhance the flavor of food, we’re careful not to overdo them. We toss a few tablespoons of chopped mint into leafy salads, sprinkle snipped dill over sliced tomatoes and stir basil leaves into vegetable soup just before it’s ready to come off the stove.
For our lemon-herb chicken, we simplified what could easily have been a complicated recipe to make a marvelous dish that features fresh herbs. We coat the chicken parts with a mixture of garlic, lemon and three of our favorite herbs: basil, dill and mint. The chicken is arranged on a baking sheet, popped into the oven, and baked for less than an hour. With a no-fuss yogurt-dill sauce and a side of rice, lemon-herb chicken is proof of the power of fresh herbs.
—By Jean Kressy