Fermes Leclair et Frères Ltée.
Herbs offer plenty to please. They’re easy to use, they enhance the flavour and aroma of dishes hot or cold, so you can use them to add extra taste to any of your creations—and they’re healthy to boot. Whether you want to reinvent a classic dish or add a fresh touch to a recipe, the possibilities are unlimited—just use your imagination. At Fermes Leclair, we feature three fine herbs, fenugreek, coriander and parsley root, available all summer from June to October.
Fenugreek, which originated in the Middle East, is a legume plant that is very popular in Indian cuisine. Grown for its leaves as well as for its seeds, it is one of the oldest plants in recorded history. Studies suggest that fenugreek could have a beneficial impact in the fight against diabetes, has tonic qualities to help with digestion. . . and may also stimulate diminished libido! At Fermes Leclair, we sell it in bunches as an aromatic herb.
Fenugreek has three-toothed leaves, like clover. With a mild anise/licorice-like flavour, sharp and slightly bitter, it can be eaten and cooked much like spinach. So you can use it fresh in salads or cooked to go with other vegetables, and to season stews or soups.
Another herb native to the Middle East, coriander (also known as cilantro) is one of the most cultivated aromatic plants in the world. Though it looks a lot like Italian parsley, it stands out for its slightly anise-like taste, which for some people means that “soapy gum” flavour. Let’s face it: coriander is one of those herbs that people tend to either love or hate. All parts are edible, and it is widely used in Asian cuisine to flavour soups, grilled meats, spring rolls, etc. Coriander is certainly very versatile, and can be used in a multitude of dishes.
Native to Turkey, root parsley belongs to the same family as flat and curly parsley, but is mainly cultivated for its root. To tell it apart from parsnip, its close relative, look at the spot where the leaves emerge: on a parsnip it’s indented, and on root parsley it’s rounder, like a carrot.
Parsley root is cooked as you would carrots. It has a pronounced flavour reminiscent of a mix between parsley, parsnip and celery root, which makes it a great accompaniment for red meat or poultry dishes. You can also grate it and add it to a salad. And the leafy tops can be used anywhere you would use flat parsley.
Parsley root will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. As with carrots, it’s a good idea to remove the leafy tops so that they don’t draw moisture from the root and dry it out.