Hyssop has a flavor not dissimilar to mint. It is reputed to aid in digestion of fats.
Hyssop originated in the south east of Europe, including the south of Russia and north of Africa. It has been used in cooking and as a medicinal herb well before Christian times.
How to identify hyssop
Hyssop is a perennial plant tending to form false bushes. Only its flowers which can be bright blue, pink or white and young leaves, the most tender, are used.
How to use and store hyssop
Only the flowers and the most tender leaves are used. Hyssop flavors omelets and mixed with other herbs like thyme, mint, or bay leaf, it can flavor vegetable dishes, like menestras, and sauces, flavored vinegars and liquors.
Because of its delicate aroma, slightly bitter and zesty, hyssop is used to season a broad range of dishes from fruits and salads to sausages and meat.Store following the general guidelines for preserving herbs and see herb preserving methods.
Cooking with hyssop
Hyssop is used mainly as fresh herb or in infusion as a medicinal tea.
Hyssop marinated poached eggs
2 green onions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 sprig hyssop
1 cup vinegar
4 eggs, poached
- Heat up the oil in a pan, sauté onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add hyssop and vinegar; simmer for 3-4 minutes. Let cool down.
- Put the poached eggs in a bowl and cover with the cooled marinade. Let stand in the fridge for 6 hours.
- Serve with green salad and rye bread.
Hyssop dressing for smoked salmon or gravadlax and potato salad
1 Tbs chopped hyssop
1 Tbs mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs crème fraîche or sour cream
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
Mix all the ingredients together for the dressing in a jar and shake well. Leave to stand at least for an hour. Shake again before pouring.
Boil 4 medium potatoes in their skins, peel and slice them. Arrange on four plates. Distribute 2 cups smoked salmon or gravadlax trimmings on top. Shake the dressing and pour a little on top of each plate.
Hyssop substitution - if a recipe calls for hyssop and you don't have it, substitute 1 Tbs chopped fresh hyssop with:
- 1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh sage + 1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh mint.