By now your herb garden is in full-swing! Are you finding yourself with bunches of basil, oodles of oregano and pounds of parsley? Are you’re thinking – what do I do with all this stuff?? ?Don’t fear, we have the answers for you!
If you’re new to cooking with herbs, adding them to dishes and combining them with other flavors can feel scary or down-right intimidating. There’s a fine-line between becoming the laughing stock at the family dinner table and swaggering through the kitchen with herb power know-how. ?In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about cooking with herbs – from what meat and produce it compliments, to which flavors it pairs well with, and a few recipe ideas too!
The herbal varieties featured in this blog can all be found within Humble Seed’s Uncle Herb’s Favorites ?herb seed bank!
Superbo?Basil:?This Genovese-type of basil provides thick leaves and wonderful flavor.
Compliments:?Chicken, lamb, roast beef, turkey, berries, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese
Pairs well with:?Fennel, thyme, and oregano
Recipe ideas:?Basil tastes best when uses fresh! Use it as a garnish, in pesto sauces, stir fries, marinara sauces, and Italian dishes.?Or, pair fresh basil with beefsteak tomato slices, top with fresh mozzarella, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Caprese salad, anyone??
Santo Cilantro:?This quick growing cilantro is a classic herb that is very versatile. For a continuous supply of fresh cilantro leaves, direct seed every three to four weeks. Young cilantro leaves provide more flavor before plant flowers.
Compliments:?Chicken, beef, grilled fish, pork, black beans, avocados, corn, and tomatoes
Pairs well with: Allspice, cumin, cardamom, ginger, lime, chili peppers
Recipe ideas:?As garnish, in salsas, Mexican dishes, sausages, and stuffing – also used in some baking dishes.
Did you know that some people have a physical aversion to cilantro? If this is you, it comes down to genetics. Feel free to blame your parents!
Cumin:?While this plant grows best in warmer regions, cumin will grow in northern areas if seed is started early. Cumin’s foliage is similar to dill and sometimes confused with caraway, and cumin’s flavor is commonly mistaken for other herbs. ?Young leaves add great flavor to salads. For many Indian and Mexican dishes, cumin is a must-have ingredient.
Compliments:? pork, chicken, salmon, tomatoes, avocados, mixed vegetables, cabbage, and chickpeas
Pairs well with:?ginger, turmeric, chili powder, garlic, coriander
Recipe ideas:?Add to avocado dips and chili, commonly found in Moroccan dishes, Mexican dishes, and Indian dishes.
Purly Chives:?This chive variety grows leaves that are straight and upright, with pretty globe-shaped blooms that make delicious garnishes. Purly chives offer a mild onion flavor, and it is an easy-to-grow-anywhere herb. This variety is perfect for containers or the garden.
Compliments:?red meat dishes, tuna, potatoes, eggs, and a whole host of vegetables.
Pairs well with:?paprika, tarragon, and marjoram
Recipe ideas:?As garnish, in beef stew, soups, mixed in all things potato: baked, mashed, and salad. Also add to omelets and salad dressings.
Bouquet?Dill:?Bouquet—the most popular dill variety—produces highly flavorful leaves and seeds. The seeds are great to use as a pickling spice. Dry dill leaves for use later.
Compliments:?Chicken,?fish, eggs, carrots, cucumber, green beans, potatoes, and yogurt
Pairs well with:?garlic, onion
Recipe ideas: Add to quiche, sprinkled on grilled salmon, mixed in potato and carrot salads, add to yogurt sauces. Dill is commonly found in Greek dishes and Scandinavian dishes.
Greek Oregano:?This Greek oregano is more pungent than common oregano, and it is prized by chefs for its aroma, flavor and versatility. This Greek oregano is great for container gardening.
Compliments: Marinated vegetables, tomatoes, white meat, beef, fried fish, roast beef
Pairs well with: garlic, olive oil, parsley, chili flakes, bay leaves, marjoram, fennel, basil and thyme
Recipe ideas: Sprinkled on pizza, stirred in tomato sauces, Italian dishes
Bronze and Green Fennel:?This non-bulb type of feathery fennel offers bronze-red and dark green foliage. The sweet flavored leaves make a great addition to salads, soups and stews, and fennel leaves make a pretty garnish. For medicinal purposes, fennel seeds are used in teas as a digestive aid.
Compliments: Pasta, jicama, chicken, pork, potatoes,?
Pairs well with:??citrus, anise, cinnamon, black pepper corns, basil, mint
Recipe ideas:?Roasted chicken, pasta dishes, topped on pizza, baked in a potato casserole, topped on pork tenderloin, mixed in a lightly steamed bean salad
Common Sage:?Use sage’s flavorful grey-green leaves to season beans, cheese, meats, pork, poultry, sauces, sausages, and more. Sage is also used as a digestive and nerve tonic. Sage plants are good for containers, and they make an excellent border plant for an herb garden. Replant sage every 3 years as it naturally dies off after 5 years.
Compliments: Sweet potatoes, pork, white meat, sausage, beef, cheese, apples, winter produce
Pairs well with: lemon
Recipe ideas: Tastes best when cooked with butter, top on baked sweet potatoes, add to stuffing, sausage, roasts, pork tenderloin, cheeseburgers
Titan Parsley:?Titan parsley grows into upright, compact plants that provide good uniformity and yield. Although this parsley is a biennial, the flavor is best in the first year, thus it is grown as an annual. The flat leaves that this parsley produces makes them great for garnishing dishes
Compliments:?Chicken, fish, red meat, potatoes, eggs, a variety of vegetables
Pairs well with: Basil, chives, and tarragon, lemon and garlic
Recipe ideas: Sprinkled on casseroles and pasta dishes for color, stirred in soups, minced and added to mixed, sautéed vegetables. Also consider highlighting all the goodness of parsley within a tabbouli salad!?
Ginger Winter Thyme?Thyme goes with just about anything, and this is the herb to use if you’re a new cook!
Compliments:?Poultry, grilled fish, roast beef, pork, lamb, egg, mushrooms, mixed vegetables
Pairs well with:?Bay leaves, cilantro, oregano, marjoram, rosemary
Recipe ideas:?French dishes, grilled fish, omelets, quiche, seafood chowder, soups, sprinkled on mixed vegetables
Folks, we’re wondering: which herbs are your?favorite to use? Which dishes with fresh herbs does your family love?
Humble Seed?specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed. Follow us on Facebook! We’re also proud to say we have taken the?Safe Seed Pledge!!