12 Of The Best Fresh Herbs to Cook With
Herbs are the unsung heroes of many dishes, adding that extra something special to everyday meals. But how do you choose the right herbs for your recipes and make sure you’re using them correctly? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best herbs to cook with and why it’s worth going the extra mile to source some fresh ones!
When it comes to herbs, there are a few that stand out above the rest as being particularly well-suited for cooking. These herbs can add a tremendous amount of flavour to your dishes, and they can also have some great health benefits. Here are some of the best herbs to cook with and why you should consider using them in your kitchen:
Basil: Basil is an extremely flavourful and versatile herb that can add an interesting kick to a variety of dishes. From pasta sauces to pesto, this aromatic herb can really elevate the flavour of your meals.
Rosemary: Rosemary is another herb with a strong flavour that can really liven up a dish. It’s often used in Mediterranean cooking and goes well with chicken, lamb or fish.
Thyme: Thyme is a milder herb that is often used as an ingredient in soups and stews. It has a slightly lemony flavour that can brighten up any dish.
Benefits of Cooking with Herbs
Herbs are a great way to add flavour to your cooking without adding calories, fat, or sodium. They can also be a healthy alternative to salt for those on a low-sodium diet. Herbs are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, which can positively affect your immune system and defend against illness.
- Enhance the flavour of dishes: Herbs can be used to enhance the flavour of both savoury and sweet dishes. They can be added as a dry rub, minced and mixed into a marinade, stirred into soups and stews, thrown into salads, and sprinkled onto grilled meats or vegetables.
- Lower sodium content in meals:Most packaged spices contain salt, but herbs can be used instead to reduce the amount of sodium in meals without losing out on flavour.
- Introduce new flavours: Fresh herbs bring new life to old recipes; they create exciting and delightful dishes with very little effort.
- Decorate food: Fresh and dried herbs can also make great decorations for your dishes and provide an attractive presentation, as well as adding flavour.
- Reduce the need for fat: Adding herbs instead of using fat-based items like butter or cream is an easy way to reduce fat in dishes without sacrificing flavour.
- Provide health benefits: Many herbs are packed with antioxidants that help boost immunity and fight disease-causing agents within our bodies. They also offer anti-inflammatory benefits useful for those suffering from chronic pain or illness such as arthritis or diabetes
The Best Herbs to Cook With
Herbs are a fantastic way to boost flavour without including extra calories in your cooking. Moreover, they can be useful for introducing antioxidants and other important nutrients into your diet. Here are 12 of the most beneficial herbs to include in your cuisine and why they’re beneficial for you.
Basil is a great addition to any diet, as it provides essential vitamin K to help keep bones strong and also contains antioxidants which may help protect against some forms of cancer. Basil is a fragrant herb that has been used in cooking for centuries. It is native to India and has a strong flavour that can be used in many different dishes. Basil is a good source of vitamins A and C, and it also contains magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Chives are rich in Vitamin C, which is important for immunity and skin health. They also contain allicin, a compound that has been shown to have antibacterial properties.
Cilantro is an excellent source of vitamins A and K. It also contains flavonoids, which are plant-based compounds with potent antioxidant activity. Coriander, commonly referred to as cilantro, is a globally celebrated herb found in many different types of cuisine. The leaves have a strong, pungent flavour that can be used to add zest to salads, soups, and other dishes. The seeds can be used to make a spice for curry dishes. Coriander is a source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Coriander can be found fresh, dried, or powdered in a variety of forms. It is used extensively in Mexican and Indian dishes, as well as in Thai and Chinese cuisine. It is an essential ingredient in many traditional Latin-American dishes, such as tacos and enchiladas. Coriander leaves are often used as a garnish to add flavour to dishes.
Dill weed is a good source of calcium and magnesium, making it beneficial for bone health. Dill also contains carvone, a compound that gives dill its unique flavour and has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Dill is one of the best herbs to cook with because it has a delicate yet flavorful taste that can enhance many dishes. It is also relatively easy to grow and can be found in most supermarkets. When cooking with dill, be sure to add it near the end of the cooking process so that its flavour does not diminish. Some great dishes to try dill in include fish, chicken, rice, and potato salads.
Fennel is a good source of fibre, potassium, and magnesium. It also contains phytonutrients that may have cancer-protective effects.
Marjoram is high in polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds with antioxidant activity.
If you’re looking to add a little flavour to your cooking, then look no further than marjoram. This herb has a pleasantly sweet taste that can enhance the flavours of chicken, fish, and vegetables. Plus, it’s easy to grow your own marjoram if you have a green thumb.
Marjoram is a popular herb in Mediterranean cuisine, so adding it to your dishes will give them a touch of that region’s flavours. It can also be used to make herbal teas which are thought to help with digestion and lower stress.
Cooking with rosemary is a great way to add flavour to your food. This herb has a strong, pungent flavour that can be used to enhance the flavour of meats, vegetables, and soups. Rosemary is also a good source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
If you wish to enhance the flavour of your dishes, mint is definitely a good choice. This herb has a delightful yet subtle sweetness that can bring out the best in any meal. Additionally, mint is extremely versatile and can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes, as well as cocktails and desserts.
There are few herbs as versatile as oregano. This pungent, earthy herb is a staple in many Italian and Greek dishes. But oregano can be used in so much more than just pasta sauce and pizza. Try it in rubbed on grilled meats, in a vinaigrette, or sprinkled over roasted vegetables. Oregano is also a potent antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
There are many reasons to love thyme. For one, it’s an incredibly versatile herb that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Whether you’re making a savoury dish like chicken noodle soup or a sweet dessert like apple pie, thyme can add a delicious flavour to your food.
Parsley is a great choice of herb to include in cooking due to its flexibility. It can be used to spice up soups, stews, salads and pasta dishes. As well as providing flavourful seasoning, parsley offers various nutritional advantages, including vitamins A and C, potassium and iron.
Sage is a herb that has many benefits, such as being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and full of antioxidants. Sage can be used in many dishes to give them a boost of flavour.
Recipes for Each Herb Combination
There are countless herb combinations that can be used to add flavour to your dishes. But which herbs work best together? And what flavours do they create?
Here are some of the best herb combinations to cook with, along with a brief explanation of the flavours they create:
Rosemary and Thyme: These two herbs have a long history of being used together in cooking. They create a savoury, earthy flavour that is perfect for roasted meats or vegetables.
Oregano and Basil: These two herbs are commonly used in Italian cooking. They create a bright, herby flavour that is perfect for pasta dishes or pizzas.
Cilantro and Lime: These two ingredients are often used together in Mexican cooking. The cilantro adds a fresh, green flavour, while the lime adds a touch of acidity. This combination is perfect for tacos or enchiladas.
Parsley and Mint: These two herbs are often used together in Middle Eastern cuisine. They create a refreshing, bright flavour that is perfect for salads or lamb dishes.
Ways with Mint
Some of our favourite recipes that feature mint include:
- Minty lamb skewers with yoghurt sauce
- Cucumber, mint and feta salad
- Chocolate chip mint cookie
Ways with Sage
-Roasted chicken or turkey: Sage pairs well with poultry and gives it a delicious flavour. Try roasting your chicken or turkey with some sage leaves for a tasty meal.
-Soup: Sage can add flavour to any soup. Whether you’re making tomato soup or vegetable soup, sage can help enhance the flavours.
-Stuffed mushrooms: If you’re looking for an appetizer that’s full of flavour, try stuffed mushrooms with sage. The herb provides a nice earthy flavour that goes well with the mushrooms.
We hope this article has provided you with some interesting insights into the world of herbs and how you can use them to add incredible flavour to your dishes. With such a wide selection of herbs readily available, it’s easy to incorporate these versatile ingredients into almost any recipe.
So why not give them a try? Try different combinations to find new favourites or search for your existing favourite recipes that feature fresh herbs as the star ingredient. Your taste buds will thank you!