Herbs are everywhere in the Mediterranean diet and are used generously! They are added to meat dishes, vegetables, dips, soups and of course salads and dressings. Herbs are used in cooking, but drinking them is a significant part of the Mediterranean Diet. This is an age-old practice which studies have shown can contribute to the longevity seen in these areas. Herbal tea is consumed every day, not only when you are feeling under the weather. These teas also offer relief from coughs, sore throat, stomach aches and also count towards your hydration needs.
A herbal tisane is what we commonly refer to as a herbal tea. Interestingly, herbal teas aren’t actually teas at all. All true tea is made from an infusion containing the plant Camellia Sinensis, otherwise known as the tea plant. Herbal tisanes (or, herbal teas) are infusions made from one or more berries, leaves, petals and spices, among other things. True tea is caffeinated, as Camellia Sinensis is one of the only plants that contains caffeine naturally, and
herbal teas are caffeine free.
So... Herbal tea is tea, but without the tea? Yes, essentially, and so its better for you and you´ve most likely been enjoying herbal tisanes for years without even knowing it. The word “Tisane” is argued to have originated from the Greek work “ptisane”, which is a drink originally made from barley.
Suggested mediterranean herbal teas
- Mountain Tea “ironman tea” /ironwort
- Linden (lime blossom)
- Lemon verbena
Suggested mediterranean herbs for cooking
- Parsley: Very versatile, can be added almost everywhere; in stews, meats, soups, pasta and grains
- Basil: A key ingredient in pasta sauce, pairs perfectly with tomatoes, used for pesto, in salads, as a topping on toasts and pizza. Can accompany lemonade.
- Oregano (Dry): One of the most popular herbs, pairs well with olive oil, lemon, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken, red meats.
- Mint: Used in almost all ground meat recipes and in savoury pies. Pairs well with feta.
- Dill: Pairs well with yogurt (used in tzatziki), savoury pies filled with greens, spinach, lemon, lettuce and seafood.
Summer savory/Winter savory/Garden savory/Segurelha: Adds that je ne sais quoi to a truly fine vinaigrette. It is recommended both for culinary use and for planting near bee-hives, where the herb is responsible for the fragrance of the honey.The leaves and tender shoots are used, with other herbs, in stuffing for meats, meat pies and sausages.1 to 2 logs of goats cheese (chèvre )1 tomato per personBasil Thyme Segurelhahandful of stoned black olives choppedfresh dried breadcrumbsCut the cheese into slices.With a teaspoon scoop out the seeds and flesh from the tomatoes.Discard.Lay the slices of goats cheese overlapping with the olives in each tomato shell.Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top and finish with a generous sprinkling of your choice of herbs.Put the stuffed shells in an ovenproof dish or on a roasting tray.Put the tomatoes in a pre-heated oven and bake under the grill for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and spread over the whole shell.
This recipe works equally well with halved red pepper shells.*For those who are new here, please note that you can click here and check the previous post.
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