10 Herbs Every Cook Should Use
What would pesto be without basil, or salsa without cilantro? Herbs can take a dish from just okay to unforgettable. Sometimes you only need a pinch of this and that, and sometimes it's okay to toss in handfuls. Keep the following herbs on hand so you can quickly add a boost of flavor to any meal:
- Basil: Basil is mostly used in sauces, sandwiches, soups, and salads.
- Rosemary: Rosemary goes well with garlic, olive oil, focaccia, tomato sauce, pizza, and pork.
- Cilantro: Cilantro adds distinctive flavor to salsas, soups, stews, curries, salads, vegetables, fish, and chicken.
- Chives: Thinly slice chives for maximum flavor. Chives are great in dips, quesadillas, and baked potatoes.
- Parsley: This herb is great because it can enhance the flavor of and dish. It comes in curly and flat-leaf varieties.
- Sage: Sage goes well with most meats, such as sausage, pork, cured meats, veal, and turkey. It's also great in stuffings.
- Dill: This herb lends a fresh and sharp flavor to cottage cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, omelets, seafood, yogurt soups, potato salads, and most cucumber dishes.
- Mint: There are many varieties of mint, but spearmint is preferred for cooking. Add it to lamb, peas, carrots, ice cream, tea, mint juleps, and mojitos.
- Oregano: Oregano is great on salads and pizzas, and in tomato sauces and vinaigrettes. Add chopped oregano to poultry, game, or seafood dishes.
- Thyme: Most cooks use French thyme, which works wonders with pork, lamb, duck, and goose. It's also used in most Cajun and Creole dishes. Thyme partners well with almost any other herb too.