Do you have a bunch of herbs and spices in your spice rack that you have no idea what to do with? Print out this handy herbal reference – you’ll never have to guess again! (All herbs are in alphabetical order)
Anise: More common in the seed form, the anise plant may grow as one of the most nondescript herbs in your garden. Lacy and limber, it would require many plants to produce a useful crop of anise seeds for cooking. You may utilize the foliage freshly chopped to render an albeit weaker anise flavor in many recipes.
Basil: Fragrant basil leaves have a rich, spicy-sweet flavor similar to licorice and cloves. Basil varieties include lemon and cinnamon. Sweet basil and the smaller-leaved bush or globe basil are the most common forms of this spicy, scented summer herb. Basil is the basis for pesto sauce, and chopped basil goes well in tomato sauce and soup, as well as meat, poultry, pasta, rice and egg dishes. Add whole basil leaves to a green salad or arrange them over a pizza. Basil loses its unique flavor when dried.
Bay: Useful throughout the year, wreaths of this noble laurel once crowned ancient heroes. Most aromatic when dried, bay leaves are a vital part of a bouquet garni and useful for soups, stews and casseroles, as well as marinades for meat, fish and poultry.
Chives: This grassy member of the onion family grows well outdoors or in window-sill pots. Regular clipping is all that’s required to keep chives flourishing. The mild onion-flavored leaves are used fresh in salads as well as cheese, egg and vegetable dished. Freeze-dried chives are a fine substitute when fresh are not available.
Chervil: Otherwise known as French parsley, this lesser known herb is predominantly used as a flavor enhancer to other herbs and spices. Chervil has little flavor of its own, but when combined with other herbs and spices produces a more robust flavor to savory cooking.
Cilantro: Also called coriander, cilantro has a bold, almost citrus flavor popular in the highly spiced cuisines of Asia, the Caribbean, India, Latin America and Spain. Add chopped cilantro leaves to rice and noodle dishes as well as tomato salad, relish and salsa.
Dill: Feathery dill leaves can dominate a recipe, but heat quickly weakens their flavor. Dill is snipped fresh into salads, sauces and spreads, and paired with carrots, cucumbers and green beans. Dill is delicious with fish, particularly salmon and is a staple in potato salads and fresh cucumber dishes. Dill is also a great addition to homemade chicken noodle soup.
Fennel: Feathery fronds of fennel may be readily mistaken for dill, but the taste distinguishes an aniseed flavor. Fennel is a classic herb used for stuffings, stews and sauces. Fresh fennel makes a savory bed for grilled seafood.
Garlic: Pungent and aromatic this controversial member of the onion family is one of the oldest culinary herbs. From China to South America, many ethnic cuisines feature garlic as an essential flavoring. Strongest in its raw state, garlic takes on sweeter and milder tones in cooking and enhances the flavor of other ingredients. Garlic is used in soups, sauces, stews, marinades and virtually every type of cooking world-wide.
Ginger: This tasty root produces a flavor unique to the herb world. Fresh ginger root is predominantly used in Asian cooking. Dried and ground ginger is more common in cakes and cookies because it produces a more interesting flavor when combined with cinnamon or other dark spices.
Horseradish: Probably the ugliest of the root herbs, horseradish provides a little kick to any recipe. Home grown horseradish can produce a wide variety of flavors from mildly zingy to, wow–that hurts! The best way to preserve your home grown horseradish is to dig out the main root, clean it and grind it in a food processor. Freeze the ground root in an ice cube tray so that you may reconstitute small amounts as needed.
Lemongrass: The thicker, lowers stems of lemongrass are peeled and the tender cores are bundled to be steamed or chopped in order to add produce a sweet, lemony flavor in many different types of cooking. The leaves of lemongrass are predominantly used for producing lemon-like tea flavorings and of course, lemongrass juice.
Marjoram: This versatile small-leaved plan can be used fresh in the summer and dried in the winter. Often described as a meat herb, it also goes well with fish, cheese, tomato and egg dishes. Wild marjoram has a stronger flavor that it’s Italian cousin oregano. An essential seasoning in pizza and many Mediterranean specialty dishes.
Mint: There are may varieties of this refreshing herb, from applemint to cologne and lemon mint. Used in teas, drinks and candies, it is rarely used in Western cooking, but amply utilized in Eastern foods. Mint specialties and spices often combine to flavor meat, chicken and of course, lamb.
Oregano: Small, oval oregano leaves have a hot, peppery flavor common in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines. Chopped oregano enhances cheese and egg dishes, as well as tomato sauce and pizza. Oregano combines well with lemon, garlic and olive oil. Add chopped fresh oregano to meat loaf, meatballs and grilled burgers.
Parsley: There are more than 30 varieties of this fresh-tasting, slightly peppery herb; curly-leaf parsley, a common garnish, is the most popular, but Italian or flat-leaf parsley has better flavor for cooking. Parsley is added fresh to Middle Eastern salads and Latin American salads and is cooked with garlic and butter in classic French sauces. Try parsley in pesto sauce and in egg, rice and pasta dishes. Vitamin-rich parsley is available year-round and should be dried as a last resort. Parsley is much more than just a pretty garnish.
Rosemary: Silvery-green, needle-like rosemary leaves have a sweet pine fragrance with hints of lemon and ginger. Rosemary enhances roasted fish, poultry and meat, particularly lamb, veal and pork. Add rosemary to bread dough, cream sauces and soups. It also goes well with potatoes, beans and tomato-base sauces.
Sage: The perfect marriage with stuffing, sage counteracts the fattiness of duck, goose and pork. It is essential in many types of sausages and also enhances tomato and cheese-based dishes. Unlike many herbs, it has a stronger flavor when dried and must be used sparingly in cooking.
Savory: The more sensitive summer savory is typically used freshly minced for flavoring beans and meat dishes. While the hardy, winter savory is often found dried to produce a stronger savory flavoring that is lost during the drying process.
Sweet Cicely: Otherwise known as British cicely or sweet-chervil. All parts of this ferny-leafed, anise-scented herb present a very sweet flavor. The sugar that is produced by the herb is in a form that diabetics can metabolize. All parts of the plant including the root are edible additions to salads and confections.
Tarragon: The delicate aniseed-flavor of tarragon highlights classic bearnaise sauce and provides the key flavoring for salad dressings and egg dishes. Long cooking decreases the strength of tarragon‘s flavor and it is typically added to dishes near the end of cooking or in the raw completely.
Thyme: With its delicate green leaves and faint lemon flavor, thyme is a basic component of a bouquet garni. Thyme is grown in flavored varieties, including lemon. Try it in chowders, stews and stuffings as well as poultry and fish dishes. Thyme also enhances butter, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, olive and vinegar. Thyme dries well and is strongest when used fresh.Free PDF Health Ebook...