I do not currently own a basting brush. I have owned them, plenty of them, but they get all oily and are hard to clean and I end up tossing them long before most people would.
As a consequence, I would find myself in need of one all the time, but having to make do with using a spoon or some other awkward improvisation.
Right after I saw this idea in a library book I was reading, Herbal Treasures by Phyllis V. Shaudys, I put it down and headed straight to my rosemary plant so I could try it out on the chicken roasting in my oven at that very moment.
I was smitten by the subtle flavor it added and plan to never buy another basting brush in my life again!
All you’ll need to make your own herbal basting brush, is a handful of herbs and a stick or wooden spoon to attach them to.
Or, some people just tie the bunches of herbs together to use and that’s fine also.
You may prefer a longer handle of sorts on it though, especially if you’re grilling and don’t want your hands too close to the high heat.
Simply gather your herbs together (around the stick or wooden spoon handle if you are using that) and tie in place with kitchen string.
In the past, I’ve also use the more unconventional choice of unflavored dental floss. (I had a ton leftover from when I went through my extreme couponer phase!)
I like to chop the ends off evenly with a sharp knife; this makes for easier and smoother spreading of sauces and marinades. Save the little snipped off pieces to sprinkle on your dish a few minutes before it’s done cooking.
Right now, we are enjoying lots of roasted new potatoes from our garden. I mix half melted butter, half olive oil plus seasonings to taste , then use a rosemary herbal brush to frequently baste them with the mixture.
After basting for the last time, I snip off the ends of my brush, allowing the pieces to sprinkle over my potatoes then roast for just a few more minutes.
The subtle rosemary flavor is sublime!
There are many herbs suitable for use. The first five are perhaps the most sturdiest of choices; use one or more of those for the skeleton of your brush, then intersperse the more delicate ones between:
- Onion or garlic greens
This is just a starting point for your imagination! There are many more culinary herbs and herbal combinations out there to try!
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