HERBS

 

Herb

Flavor

Uses in Cooking

&

TIPS

Combinations with other herbs

Growing & Storing

 

History and fun facts

My Favorite Use

Basil

 

Peppery with little spice with hints of clove and licorice

Most popular in pesto, tomatoes, Italian dishes like pizza, pasta sauce; vegetables, poultry, cheese.

Tip: Use fresh for best results at the end of the cooking process. If using dried, add at the beginning of the cooking process to develop the flavors

Can be used with oregano, parsley and/or thyme

Annual, plant in spring after last frost. Delicate herb that is very sensitive to cold weather. Take in doors below 40 degrees. Store in refrigerator wrapped in damp towels or in a glass of water for up to 4 days. Can freeze in olive oil (as in pesto).

There are over 50 varieties; a member of the mint family; called the royal herb by ancient Greeks and a token of love by the Italians.

Pesto; Mozzarella and tomato salad; Italian Sausage Casserole

Bay Leaves

Smokey

Used to flavor sauces, soups and stews. Can be used to flavor meats, poultry, fish and vegetables.

Tip: Use the dried leaves sparingly and remove before serving but if you accidently leave a piece in and your guest spoons it out, declare them a great leader

Use in bouquet garni, i.e, several herbs (parsley, thyme, onions, peppercorns) and spices tied in cheesecloth and dropped in soup, remove at the end of the cooking time

Plant laurel tree in warm climate areas where it is free from frost. Fresh leaves are rarely use because they are so much stronger than the dried leaves

From the evergreen laurel tree; for centuries has been the symbol of a triumphant leader, with magical qualities hence the saying. “winning your laurels”

Beef Stew, Lentil Stew with smoked paprika

Chervil

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Mild and very similar to parsley with mild anise flavor

Can be used fresh or dried. Common in many Mediterranean dishes

Tip: Add at the end of the cooking process for maximum flavor

Used in fines herbes, a combination of fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, marjoram.

Fast growing, harvest before the plant goes to seed. Store fresh in refrigerator for up to one week, freeze in water in ice cubes. Can be dried but many say it loses some flavor.

Fernlike beautiful plant in the parsley family

Green beans, Fines herbes mashed potatoes

Chives

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Mild onion

Can be used dried or fresh and their lavender flowers are also edible

Tip: Great garnish that also adds flavor

Can be used with rosemary, parsley or cilantro

Are perennials and grow well in warm weather. Store in refrigerator in plastic bag for up to one week, freeze or dry

Related to the onion and contains vitamin A, potassium and calcium. Produce beautiful violet flowers and are great in flower pots or as border plants

Potatoes;

and sauce for fish

Egg and chive omelet

Cilantro

 

Lemon mint

Can be used fresh in butter, mayonnaise and/or dried in salads, salsa, soups, chicken and meat dishes

Want to impress your friends with a home cooked meal but ended up having to work late?

Keep a jar of salsa in the pantry, open, pour into your favorite serving dish add freshly chopped cilantro and jalapeno or Serrano pepper, use half for dip with chips and pour the other half over chicken pieces or fish, cover and cook. Garnish with more cilantro. No one has to know that the salsa came out of a jar. Serve with rice.

Good with parsley, mint, chives,

Fast growing annual, that does well in pots. The entire plant including the leaves, the seeds and roots are all edible. Produces seeds quickly (coriander) in warm weather

Store fresh refrigerated in water, mix in butter and freeze

Was used by the Chinese as a love potion

Roasted tomato and garlic salsa, Cilantro Butter;

Pecan crusted Halibut with Cilantro aioli,

pesto

Dill

 

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Sweet, yet slightly bitter

The feathery leaves can be used dried or fresh. Add fresh leaves to butter. Add fresh at the end of the cooking process.

The seeds are widely used in pickles.

The seeds increase in flavor with heat and are often toasted for enhancing flavor

Tarragon, parsley or rosemary

An annual plant that grows wild. Store fresh refrigerated for up to 10-14 days or mix in butter and freeze; can also store in vinegar

Sorcerers used to make their concoction more potent. Derived from the word dilla, meaning to lull, because it is said to have digestive and sedative qualities

 

Granny’s pickles, bread;

Dilly potato salad

Lemon Grass

Sour lemon

Used to make tea or for soups

Garlic, cilantro; Chili pepper

Available fresh or dried; store fresh in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and 6months frozen

Used in Thai cooking; long grey leaves

Also known as citronella

Thai seafood Soup

Marjoram

 

Milder than oregano, slightly spicy

The leaves can be used dried which intensifies the flavor or fresh

If using fresh, add at the end of cooking process

Since it is mild, use carefully with other herbs that might overpower it

Oregano, parsley, sage and rosemary

A perennial plant in the mint family. Store dried in airtight containers. Freeze fresh in freezer bags or in olive oil.

Used as an air freshener;

some countries thought it to be a symbol of honor and happiness, often made into crowns and worn by newlyweds.

Herbed Meatloaf; marinated mix grilled vegetables

Mint

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Peppery; two most popular of 30 species is spearmint and peppermint

Use fresh, dried or as an extract or an oil

Freeze fresh leaves in lemon /lime water then freeze in ice cube trays. Makes a wonderful presentation for cocktail drinks or punch with added flavor, the ice won’t dilute the drink

Basil

Perennial plant that grows wild

Store fresh in water refrigerated for up to one week, changing water every two days

The symbol of hospitality with records dating over 2000 years ago

Lime Mojito Seafood Ceviche

Layered salad

Oregano

 

Pungent mint

Use leaves fresh or dried. Good in tomato dishes, stuffing, pork, soups, and vegetables.

Use sparingly as oregano is a strong herb especially in the hot months of summer, it can over power basil.

Use sparingly with basil, marjoram, parsley, and/or thyme;

sage and rosemary

Low growing perennial Makes a good border plant. Store fresh oregano in a plastic bag refrigerated up to 3 days.

American soldiers returning from WWII raved about something they ate while in Italy called pizza- Oregano was sprinkled on top. Following that, sales jumped 5000% for the herb which previously was never mentioned in the U.S.

Baked Pasta w/Marinara, 5 herb pesto

Parsley

curly

 

Italian flat leaf

 

Slightly peppery; the curly has a much milder flavor than the flat leaf variety

The most popular herb worldwide used both fresh and dried; one of 3 herbs used in bouquet garni (tied together with thyme and bay leaf) to flavor soups and sauces

Use as a garnish and breath freshener so take a little piece with you from the restaurant especially if you are on your first date

Parsley can be used with any herb

Over 30 varieties, a biennial herb grown as an annual in gardens and pots

Store fresh wrapped in a paper towel, then in a plastic bag refrigerated for up to one week

Parsley has been cultivated for thousands of years, used by the Romans in crowns for banquet guests to ward off drunkenness, a good source of vitamins A and C

Pesto;

potato soup;

Rosemary

 

Lemon pine

 

 

Use the needle shaped leaves fresh or dried. Excellent in egg, lamb, pork, chicken and stuffing

Fresh sprigs make a wonderful bouquet/ air freshener for bath room or kitchen, after the sprigs dry out, remove needles and use stems as skewers

sage; also with thyme and parsley

Perennial evergreen that is fairly hardy; store dried or fresh refrigerated in a plastic bag or in a glass of water

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the line “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” came from the ancient belief that it is a symbol of remembrance and fidelity. Used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. New research indicates that it may help the memory.

Herb roasted chicken; Rosemary roasted potatoes

Sage

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Slightly bitter musty mint

Use fresh or dried crumbled or ground in dishes containing pork, poultry, and stuffing

Are you from the South? Well if so cornbread and Sage are a must for the dressing

Rosemary; also with thyme, oregano, parsley and/or marjoram

Perennial plant; store fresh wrapped in a paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag refrigerated for up to 4 days or dried

Used for centuries for culinary and medicinal purposes;

Pecan cranberry stuffing, mom’s cornbread dressing

Savory

Pungent mint

and thyme

Winter savory is stronger that summer savory

Use Winter savory fresh or dried with care due to strong flavor; Summer savory is good with beef, pasta, vegetables and poultry seasonings

Tip: use in dishes that require long cooking time such as dried beans or stew, this will help break down and tenderize the herb

Dill, mint and parsley

Winter savory: woody perennial plant with tough leaves

Summer: tender annual

Romans introduced to England 2000 years ago; there are two kinds, summer and winter; often called the bean herb

Green bean with bacon and herbs; Savory three bean soup

Tarragon

Aniselike (slightly licorice

Use fresh or dried in meats, fish, mushrooms, butter, mayonnaise, vinegar, béarnaise sauce and fish sauces

Preserve in a bottle of rice wine vinegar for a great flavor combination

Used in fines herbes, a combination of fresh parsley, chives, chives, marjoram.

Herbaceous perennial that should be replanted every 3-4 years.

Native to Siberia

Béarnaise sauce, crusted beef filet;

wild mushroom bread pudding

Thyme

 

Depends on the variety: lemon, sweet, etc.

Retains flavor better than most herbs when dried

Use fresh or dried in vegetables, meats, and soups

Add at the end of the cooking process to retain most flavor

Basic herb in bouquet garni (bay, and parsley)

Several varieties of this low-growing, wiry-stemmed perennial; store dried or fresh refrigerated 3-4 days

Symbol of activity, the flowers attract butterflies and bees enhancing the flavor of honey

Clam chowder, Coq au Vin