Aromatic herbs and spices are substances or plants that have a very unique and pleasant smell. They are often used in cooking to create or complement existing food flavors. Aromatic herbs are great in soups, rice and pasta dishes. Many refer to aromatics as a mixture of vegetables (such as onions) and herbs that are sautéed with a small amount of fat. If you are using just herbs or a mixture of vegetables and herbs, it is important to recognize that these wonderful flavor combinations are a great way to reduce the amount of fat and salt you use in your cooking. Here are a few tips to help you cook with aromatics: 1 . If you are using aromatic herbs and spices in soups, stocks and broths but removing them before serving, you do not have to worry too much about chopping. You can just half an onion or chop carrots into 3 or 4 pieces. You can use whole sprigs of thyme or rosemary. The leaves may come off, but you can usually easily remove them from your finished product with a skimmer or spoon. 2 . If your aromatics will be used in the final product, you will most likely want to dice or chop them finely. The smaller you chop them, the more surface area they will have. The more surface area means that it will release more flavor. 3 . For deeper flavor, sauté your vegetables and herbs in a little bit of olive oil first. You can also sweat your vegetables by cooking them in a tightly covered pot. The vegetables will soften without browning.
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