Herbs are often the key to to taking an average dish and making it extra special! This quick guide will help take you through when to use them.
Mint is one of the most distinctive herbs that can be easily found, and works well in both savoury and sweet dishes. Characterised by its clean fresh flavour, mint is popular in European, Middle Eastern and South East Asian cooking. In Europe, it is often used in desserts such as Eton Mess. While in the Middle East, it is often mixed through chopped salads such as a fattoush or tabbouleh. In places such as Thailand, mint is often used in salads or mixed through noodle dishes to add freshness to the heat.
Works well with: peas, lamb, chilli, lime, basil, parsley and coriander.
Rosemary is an essential part of European cooking. It’s useful in everything from stocks, soups and pasta dishes to seasoning meat.
Works well with: meat (especially lamb), onions, garlic, tomatoes, thyme and most vegetables.
A key ingredient in European, Caribbean and West African cooking; thyme adds plenty of flavour and a great aroma to a savoury dish.
Works well with: rosemary, chicken, root vegetables and soups.
Similar to mint, basil is popular in Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East, and is used in many of the same dishes. Basil has a distinctive, aromatic flavour not dissimilar to aniseed. It is used in many classic Italian dishes such as margherita pizza and caprese salads.
Works well with: tomato, mozzarella, feta, chilli, mint, balsamic vinegar, spring onions and pasta.
Possibly the most widely used herb, parsley makes the perfect garnish to almost any savoury dish! It is particularly popular in the Middle East where it makes the base for many dishes. Less fresh tasting than mint and with slightly grassy taste, it works well with many flavours whilst not being overpowering.
Works well with: coriander, tomatoes, red onion, chicken, red meat, white cheeses and olive oil.
Similar to to parsley but with a more distinctive flavour, coriander can be a love/hate ingredient! It is used heavily in the Far East, South East Asia and South America. Coriander makes the perfect topping for coconut based curries, noodle dishes and for meats such as beef.
Works well with: beef, chilli, spring onion, lime, soy sauce, tomatoes, onions and carrot.
Dill is a less commonly used herb which works well in salads and with fish. It is used particularly in Scandinavian and Middle Eastern food.
Works well with: white fish, onion and parsley.
Tarragon has a light fresh taste, and partners chicken and seafood particularly well. It is used frequently in French cooking.
Works well with: seafood, chicken, parsley, lemon and dill.
Sage comes in the form of thicker green leaves, it works especially well with both pork and butternut squash, and is a staple of traditional British cooking.
Works well with: pork, butternut squash, white onions and garlic.Back