Herbs & Spices

Dried vs. Fresh- While dried herbs are convenient, they don't generally have the same purity of flavor as fresh herbs. Ensure dried herbs are still fresh by checking if they are green and not faded. Crush a few leaves to see if the aroma is still strong. Always store them in an air-tight container away from light and heat.

Basil- Sweet, warm flavor with an aromatic odor. Use whole or ground. Good with lamb, fish, roast, stews, beef, vegetables, dressing, and omelets.

Bay Leaves- Pungent flavor. Use whole leaf but remove before serving. Good in vegetable dishes, seafood, stews, and pickles.

Caraway- Spicy taste and aromatic smell. Use in cakes, breads, soups, cheese and sauerkraut.

Celery Seed- Strong taste which resembles the vegetable. Can be used sparingly in pickles and chutney, meat and fish dishes, salads, bread, marinades, dressings, and dips.

Chives- Sweet. mild flavor like that of onion. Excellent in salads, fish, soups, and potatoes.

Cilantro- Use fresh. Excellent in salads, fish chicken, rice, beans, and Mexican dishes.

Cinnamon- Sweet, pungent flavor. Widely used in many sweet baked goods, chocolate dishes, cheesecakes, pickles, chutneys, and hot drinks.

Coriander- Mild, sweet, orangy flavor and available whole or ground. Common in curry powders and pickling spice and also used in chutney, meat dishes, casseroles, Greek-style dishes, apple pies, and baked goods.

Curry Powder- Spices are combined to proper proportions to give a distinct flavor to meat, poultry, fish, adn vegetables.

Dill- Both seeds and leaves are flavorful. Leaves may be used as a garnish or cooked with fish, soup, dressings, potatoes, and beans. Leaves or the whole plant may be used to flavor pickles.

Fennel- Sweet, hot flavor. Both seeds and leaves are used. Use in small quantities in pies and baked goods. Leaves can be boiled with fish.

Ginger- A pungent root, the aromatic spice is sold fresh, dried, or ground. Use in pickles, preserves, cakes, cookies, soups, and meat dishes.

Marjoram- May be used both dried or green. Use to flavor fish, poultry, omelets, lamb, stew, stuffing, and tomato juice.

Mint- Aromatic with a cool flavor. Excellent in beverages, fish, lamb, cheese, soup, peas, carrots, and fruit desserts.

Nutmeg- Whole or ground. Used in chicken and cream soups, cheese dishes, fish cakes, and with chicken and veal. Excellent in custards, milk, puddings, pies, and cakes.

Oregano- Strong, aromatic odor. Use whole or ground in tomato juice, fish, eggs, pizza, omelets, chili, stew, gravy, poultry, and vegetables.

Paprika- A bright red pepper, this spice is used in meat, vegetables, and soups or as a garnish for potatoes, salads, or eggs.

Parsley- Best when used fresh, but can be used dried as a garnish or as a seasoning. Try in fish, omelets, soup, meat, stuffing, and mixed greens.

Rosemary- Very aromatic. Can be used fresh or dried. Season fish, stuffing, beef, lamb, poultry, onions, eggs, bread, and potatoes. Great in dressings.

Saffron- Aromatic, slightly bitter taste. Only a pinch needed to flavor and color dishes such as bouillabaisse, chicken soup, rice, paella, fish sauces, buns, and cakes. Very expensive, so where a touch of color is needed, use turmeric instead, but the flavor will not be the same.

Sage- Use fresh or dried. The flowers are sometimes used in salads. May be used in tomato juice, fish, omelets, beef, poultry, stuffing, cheese spreads, and breads.

Tarragon- Leaves have a pungent, hot taste. use to flavor sauces, salads, fish, poultry, tomatoes, eggs, green beans, carrots, and dressings.

Thyme- Sprinkle leaves on fish or poultry before broiling or baking. Throw a few sprigs directly on coals shortly before meat is finished grilling.

Turmeric- Aromatic, slightly bitter flavor. Should be used sparingly in curry powder and relishes and to color cakes and rice dishes.