With Summer upon us, produce is plentiful and fresh herbs can be found almost everywhere. If you don’t have a small pot of your own growing in your backyard or on a windowsill, don’t worry, the farmers markets on the Seacoast have you covered. From basil to lavender and everything in between, these wonderful additions to summer dishes can be found at the markets. What you may not have known is that spices can also be found at some markets and locally too!
Sometimes for the at home novice chef it can be confusing when to add fresh herbs or spices to a dish. Herbs are the leaves of a plant and spices are roots, barks, and seeds. An example of this is cilantro is an herb and coriander (the seeds) are a spice. Dried herbs and spices are added during cooking so that the flavor can infuse into what you are preparing, and fresh herbs are added at the end of cooking (with a few exceptions like rosemary). When substituting either in a recipe remember to use less of a dry herb or spice then a fresh herb or spice and vice versa.
Heron Pond Farm has a wonderful selection of potted fresh herbs and recently has been bringing other goodies to markets including but not limited to tomatoes, greens, and strawberries. They are located in South Hampton, New Hampshire, have a farm stand, and can be found at the Exeter, Portsmouth, and Newburyport farmers markets this summer. They farm in all four seasons and grow over 250 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.
Stock+Spice is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire next to the Black Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, and can be found at some farmers markets including Exeter, New Hampshire through out the summer. The company was created by Chef Evan Mallett and Denise Mallett, the owners of the Black Trumpet Restaurant & Bar in Portsmouth, and is owned by Paula Sullivan, a long-time employee of the restaurant. Both spices and bone broths are sold, and there is also a great variety of Black Trumpet spice blends that all sound delicious. Stock+Spice offers demonstration cooking classes and recipes using their products, more information can be found on their website.
What are your favorite herbs and spices? Let us know in the comments.