Is an aromatic herb popular around the World. Basil is synonymous with any dish that includes tomatoes. Whether it’s a pot of Sunday sauce or the classic pesto, basil has a beautiful, deep rich flavor. It grows year-round. Try infusing basil in your favorite olive oil and use to finish salads or grilled meats and seafood.
Chives are related to onions and garlic in that they are members of the allium family. But unlike onions and garlic, they don’t have an edible bulb. Instead, the entire long strand of chive is edible. Chives have a very mild oniony flavor which can be compared to that of leeks. Chopped chives are perfect with egg dishes and especially potatoes. Chopped chives are a classic way to finish any dish.
Dill is an annual herb in the celery family. It is popular in Scandinavian, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is mostly used to season fish and to flavor pickles, but we suggest adding them to deviled eggs or potato salads. Native Americans consumed dill seeds to treat gastrointestinal problems.
Mint is included among the most widespread aromatic herbs and is distinguished by its refreshing aroma. Its flavor has been used in everything from chewing gum, toothpaste and mouthwash to detergents and air fresheners. Mint is popular in cocktails like Mojitos and Kentucky Derby favorite the Mint Julep. Add mint to fresh fruit salads and use as a garnish in desserts.
Bay leaves come from the Laurel tree. They have been used for centuries in many European and North African dishes. They can be fresh or dried but should be removed upon completion and not consumed. Bay leaves have a woodsy flavor with subtle notes of eucalyptus and clover. A must in hearty stews and soups.
Oregano is a flowering plant in the mint family. It is native to the Mediterranean and brought to Latin America by the Spanish. Oregano is a must have herb in Greek cooking. Nothing marinates lamb better than oregano, lemon juice and garlic. In the Caribbean, oregano is used for classic roast pork dishes. In the Dominican Republic it is fed to goats to season them from the inside out. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
Plain Parsley is a plant that has diuretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidiabetic, and immunomodulatory properties. Most commonly used as a garnish for meats, potatoes or rice dishes (risotto and pilaf). Parsley is the main ingredient in Mediterranean Tabouleh salad. It has the ability to cleanse the palette. The stems are used in soup stocks.
Curley Parsley has long been used to dress up any plate. More recently chefs have been using it to cook, preferring its milder herbaceous flavor versus the flat leaf or Italian parsley. Chefs also like it because it’s easier to chop finely. Curley Parsley is loaded with vitamin A, C and is also rich in iron.
Thai Basil has both a sweet flavor and aroma with hints of anise, cloves and licorice. It is slightly spicy, and is considerably stronger in flavor than the Mediterranean basil. This herb is usually used fresh and one of its most popular uses to flavor Thai dishes such as Pho.
Marjoram is a perennial herb in the mint family. It is cultivated as a condiment for its aroma which is similar to oregano. Marjoram has an earthy, citrusy, woodsy almost pine like flavor. It is used in braises, soups and stews and is a major component in many German sausages.
Thyme is another perennial evergreen herb in the mint family. Its small leaves grow on clusters of thin stems. It has a grassy, floral and a bit peppery flavor. It goes well with meat and seafood. Thyme is a key ingredient in Jamaican Jerk Sauce. Chefs use thyme, butter and garlic to baste steaks and chops.
Rosemary grows on a perennial evergreen shrub. It has a very pronounced lemon and pine flavor, but woodsy and peppery as well. It shows up in everything from roasted chicken, to grilled steaks and lamb chops. In the Summer the stems of the rosemary become woodier and that is a great time to use whole sprigs as skewers with chicken, meat or especially shrimp.
Sage is a hardy perennial herb. It popular in European and American kitchens. Sage has a slightly sweet, grassy, herbal with bitter and citrus notes. It is a main ingredient at Thanksgiving here in the USA. From the turkey stuffing to marinating the turkey itself. The Italians make a dish called “Saltimboca” which loosely translates to “pop in your mouth”. It is a chicken or veal cutlet with sage, prosciutto and cheese in a white wine sauce…delicious.
Cilantro is a key ingredient in Mexican cooking as well as most of the World. It is a native aromatic herb from Southeast Asia and North Africa, with an herbaceous flavor and multiple health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (prevents the growth of microorganisms which can cause infections), it has a diuretic effect on the body, and is very rich in vitamin C and K.
Tarragon is a bushy aromatic herb with a pronounced licorice flavor. It pairs well with asparagus and green beans. It brightens up mayonnaise-based salads like tuna, potato or chicken. Tarragon infused butter is a great topping for meats and grilled salmon.