I’ll never forget the time I was looking with my family through an old, circa 1950s-60s, cookbook. If you ran out of dried herbs, it advised, you could substitute fresh. I promise that the tears steaming down my face were from laughter.
I believe that, just like every other ingredient, the freshest herbs are the best. But what of poultry seasoning, that broadly-monikered blend popping up in recipes from turkey meatballs to cornbread stuffing? It can combine a number of spices and herbs, some easy to grow in my balcony garden, some not. These include parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, nutmeg, celery seeds, allspice, paprika, sumac, ginger, cloves, and black or white pepper.
My solution is to grind up the fresh herbs I grow, and add others from my spice cabinet by the pinch or the dash as I want them in each recipe–sumac when I need a hint of lemon, nutmeg when an earthy sweetness is called for. This allows for both greater control and richer flavor.
The recipe below is a little heavy on the sage, because I love its minty pine flavor. I hope it inspires you to create blends that you and your family will enjoy.
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Fresh Poultry Seasoning
- 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
Place all herb leaves in spice grinder and grind until fine.
Use immediately or store up to three days in airtight container.