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Home / Kitchen Cheat Sheets / Fresh Herb Flavour Guide

Fresh Herb Flavour Guide

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Basil, sweet:

AvailableFresh, dried, and frozen
ChoosingFresh basil – bright, green and fragrant leaves
Parts usedLeaves
How to useTENDER HERB – can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving
FlavourFresh, peppery, and sweet, with hints of mint, licorice, and clove
StoringWrap fresh basil in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic (to prevent moisture build-up).  Rinse just before using.
Goes withCheese, egg, garlic, tomato, olive oil, pasta, fish, chicken
UsesSprinkle over salad, soup, pizza, pasta, and chicken dishes.  Use in Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, and Thai cooking
Basil TipBasil can be used interchangeably with mint.

 

Basil, lemon:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingFresh basil – bright, green and fragrant leaves.
Parts usedLeaves
How to useTENDER HERB – can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving
FlavourLemon and citrus flavour
StoringWrap fresh basil in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic (to prevent moisture build-up).  Rinse just before using.
Goes withFish, tomato, fruit
UsesSprinkle over salad, fish dishes, grilled vegetables, and fruit salads
TipAdds a hint of citrus

 

Basil, Thai:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingFresh basil – bright, dark green-purple and fragrant leaves.
Parts usedLeaves
How to useTENDER HERB – can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving
FlavourStrong, peppery, sweet, licorice
StoringWrap fresh basil in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic (to prevent moisture build-up).  Rinse just before using
Goes withCoconut milk, beef, ginger, lemongrass
UsesCurries and salads.  Use in Thai cooking
Helpful hint:Tear basil leaves into pieces with your fingers

 

Bay Leaf:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingFresh: dark glossy leaves free of brown spotsDried: green leaves, not brown
Parts usedLeaves
How to useTOUGH HERB – can withstand heat; add at the beginning of the cooking process.
FlavourSweet and bitter
StoringFresh: covered and refrigeratedDried: tightly sealed, away from heat and light
Goes withRed meat, potatoes, rice, thyme, tomatoes, fish
UsesFlavour marinades, soups, stocks, sauces and stews
Helpful hintRemove bay leaves before serving

 

Chervil:

AvailableFresh
ChoosingBright green and delicate leaves
Parts usedLeaves and stems
How to useTENDER HERB – can’t withstand heat; use raw or add to hot food just before serving
FlavourMild sweet anise, faint fennel, and mild pepper flavour
StoringWrap fresh chervil in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic (to prevent moisture build-up).  Rinse just before using
Goes withEgg, fish, shellfish, chicken, asparagus, peas, carrot, potato, beet, tomato
UsesFlavour soup, salad, egg dishes, and sauces.  Use in French cooking.Fine herbs blend: chervil + chives + parsley + tarragon
Helpful hint:Can be used in place of parsley

 

ChivesChives:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingBright green, crisp stems
Parts usedStems and flowers
How to useTENDER HERB – can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving
FlavourMild sweet onion flavour
StoringWrap fresh chives in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic (to prevent moisture build-up).  Rinse just before using
Goes withEgg, cheese, potato, pork, sour cream, vegetables
UsesSprinkle over salads, omelets, and soups.  Use to flavour dips and butters.
Helpful hint:Use scissors to cut chives quickly

Cilantro-1

Cilantro:

AvailableFresh, dried and frozen
ChoosingBright greens healthy leaves
Parts usedLeaves, stems and roots
How to useTENDER HERB – can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving.  The roots and stems can withstand heat, and can be used at the beginning of the cooking process.
FlavourCitrus, pepper, pine, and ginger
StoringWrap washed, slightly damp cilantro in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic.
Goes withTomato, salsa, egg, lime, rice, ginger, chillies, coconut milk, garlic, noodles, meat. Use in Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Latin American, Caribbean and Thai cooking
UsesSprinkle over a curry.  Stir into a salsa.
Helpful hint:Also called: cilantro, Mexican and Chinese parsley, and coriander

 

Dill:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingBright greens feathery leaves
Parts usedFeathery leaves and stems
How to useTENDER HERB – dills feathery leaves can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving.
FlavourDelicate citrus, sour flavour
StoringWrap fresh dill in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrap in plastic.
Goes withFish, cucumbers, vegetables, eggs, dairy, salmon, beets.  Use in Russian, Iranian and German cooking.
UsesFlavour salads, creamy dips, omelets, dill pickles, cream sauces, and potato and pasta salad.
Helpful hint:Works well with rich ingredients because it has a citrus flavour

 

Oregano:

AvailableFresh, dried, and frozen
ChoosingFresh green leaves
Parts usedleaves
How to useTENDER HERB – oregano leaves can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving.
FlavourSweet, pungent, and peppery
StoringWrap fresh oregano in paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrap in plastic. Rinse just before using.
Goes withLamb, tomato, chicken, olives, garlic, olive oil, pork, and lemon.  Use in Greek, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian cooking
UsesFlavour Greek salads, souvlaki marinades, pizza, and tomato sauces.
Helpful hint:Can be used interchangeable with marjoram

 

MintMint:

AvailableFresh, dried, and frozen
ChoosingFresh green leaves
Parts usedleaves
How to useTENDER HERB – oregano leaves can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving.
FlavourRefreshing menthol flavour
StoringWrap fresh oregano in paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrap in plastic. Rinse just before using.
Goes withYogurt, cucumber, egg, lamb, chicken, feta, berry, peach, potato, vegetables
UsesFlavour sauces, salads, cream dips, drinks, sweet and savory dishes
Helpful hint:Flavour drinking water with mint leaves

 

ParsleyParsley:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingFresh bright-green leaves
Parts usedLeaves and stems
How to useTENDER HERB – parsley leaves can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving.
FlavourFresh, grassy flavour
StoringWrap washed, slightly damp parsley in a piece of paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrapped in plastic.
Goes withTomato, garlic, lemon, red meat, egg
UsesFlavour soups, stews, marinades, meatballs, burgers, salads, pasta and pizza.
Helpful hint:Chew on a raw piece of parsley to freshen your breath

 

RosemaryRosemary:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingFresh – healthy, fragrant bunches.  Leaves firmly attached to the stem.Dried – green and fragrant
Parts usedleaves
How to useTOUGH HERB – can withstand heat; add at the beginning of the cooking process.
FlavourHints of pine
StoringWrap fresh rosemary in paper towel, and store in a closed container or wrap in plastic. Rinse just before using.
Goes withBread, lamb, pork, duck, game, vegetables, tomato, olives
UsesFlavour marinades, salad dressings and vinegars
Helpful hint:Use the stem as a skewer for grilled meat and vegetables

 

sageSage:

AvailableFresh, frozen, and dried
ChoosingFresh – healthy, fragrant, velvety green-gray leaves
Parts usedleaves
How to useTOUGH HERB – can withstand heat; add at the beginning of the cooking process.
FlavourStrong and slightly bitter mint aroma
StoringWrap fresh sage wrapped in paper towel, and in a closed container or wrapped in plastic. Rinse and pat dry just before using.
Goes withOnions, chicken, sausage, liver, goose, duck, pork, pasta, butter, red meat, beans, mushrooms
UsesFlavour stuffing, ravioli, butter sauces, roasts, panini’s and stews
Helpful hint:Use sage sparingly as it can easily overpower a dish.

 

TarragonTarragon:

AvailableFresh, frozen and dried
ChoosingFresh: bright-green, delicate leaves and fragrantDried: Green and fragrant
Parts usedleaves
How to useTENDER HERB – tarragon leaves can’t withstand heat; use it raw or add it to hot food just before serving.
FlavourSweet, spicy, licorice and anise flavour
StoringWrap fresh tarragon in paper towel, and place in a closed container or wrap in plastic. Rinse and pat dry just before using.
Goes withSeafood, fruits, chicken, egg, prosciutto, cream, vegetables, mayonnaise, lemon, mustard, beef.  Use in French cooking
UsesUse in cream sauces.
Helpful hint:Use tarragon sparingly, it can easily overpower a dish.

 

thymeThyme:

AvailableFresh and dried
ChoosingFresh: healthy bunches of little green leavesDried: Green and fragrant
Parts usedleaves
How to useTOUGH HERB – can withstand heat; add at the beginning of the cooking process.
FlavourStrong, minty, lemon, earthy aromas
StoringWrap fresh thyme in paper towel, and place in a closed container or wrap in plastic. Rinse and pat dry just before using.
Goes withBeef, carrot, chicken, fish, potato, feta, onion, pork, tomato, lamb, lentils
UsesFlavour marinades, soup and stew, grilled vegetables, stuffing
Helpful hint:Goes really well with vegetables
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