Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mediterranean Spice Mixes

Last time, I introduced you to Graham Kerr’s idea of Ethmixes, herb and spice mixtures based on regional flavors to quickly spice up your meal. I gave you two Norther European blends so, this time let’s travel south and visit the Mediterranean. Ah, flavors of the Riviera … yum!

As with the previous blends, you’ll want to use a good spice grinder.

Southern France Mix
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
2 1/2 tsp sage
2 bay leaves, crushed
2 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
2 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Grind to a fine powder.

This mix adds great flavor and complexity to almost any dish.

Northwestern Italy Mix
4 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp sage
2 tsp dried rosemary

Grind to a fine powder.

This is an excellent go-to blend for any Italian themed dish, especially tomato based pasta sauces. I also like it with sauteed vegetables.

Greek Isles Mix
2 Tbl dried oregano
3 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp dried lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Grind to a fine powder.

This is a surprising alternative for beef, lamb, and fish dishes. It’s great for flavoring a rice pilaf, too. The Greeks invented the edible complex, didn’t they?

Next time we’ll cross the Mediterranean into coastal North Africa. Are you ready for homemade Harissa?

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