Herbs have so many differents uses, from the culinary to medicinal and sometimes even spiritual, that it is easy to see why people go mad about them.
Here at Guernsey Fresh Herbs, we primarily love to use freshly picked herbs to add some extra flavour to our cooking, or make salads more interesting.
Below you find a guide to what herbs go well with what recipes. You can also take a look at our seasonal recipe inspirations here.
(Ocimum basilicum) Greek basil (O. minimum) [Lamiaceae]
Sweet basil: Best for pesto or tomato salads – it also combines well with garlic and goes well with beans, peppers and aubergines
Purple Basil: Use with rice & grains or to add colour to salads
Thai Basil: Strong aniseed flavour, use when making Thai green curry paste and also add at the end of cooking to balance spices
Allium schoenoprasum [Alliaceae]
Chives quickly lose their flavour when cooked, so should be added towards the end of cooking.
Snipped with scissors, they can be added in generous measure to many dishes and salads With their delicate onion flavour, crunchy texture, and fresh green appearance, chives liven up potato salads and soups.
Stirred into thick plain yogurt, chives make a fresh relish for grilled fish. Chives are especially good with potatoes, eggs and soft cheese; or in omelettes and sauces.
Coriandrum sativum [Apiaceae]
Fresh leaves are an essential ingredient in Asian, Latin American and Portuguese cooking. Thai cooks use the thin spindly root, in western cooking the seed is used as a spice; in the Middle East and India both are commonly used.
Coriander leaves are always added at the end of cooking as high or prolonged heat reduces their flavour. The leaves & leaf stalks can be used to flavour soups, salads, beans & curries. Dried stems can be used for smoking foods.
Mexicans combine coriander with green chillies, garlic and lime juice to make a dressing for vegetables.
(Petroselinum var. crispum) [Apiaceae]
Parsley is liked for its clean, fresh taste and it is rich in iron and vitamins A & C
It's used widely in sauces, salads, stuffings and omelettes. It's good with eggs, fish, lemon, lentils, rice, tomatoes and most vegetables. Sprigs of dark green, deep-fried curly parsley make an excellent garnish for fried fish. It is the most widely cultivated herb in Europe.
For use later, fresh parsley can also be chopped and frozen in small containers or in ice-cube trays with a little water.
Good for garnishes, curly parsley also gives a light, herbaceous flavour and attractive green colour to mayonnaise and other sauces Use whole sprigs, pinch off leaves, or chop leaves and/or stems
FLAT LEAF PARSELY
(Petroselinum var. latifolium) [Apiaceae]
Also called French or Italian parsley, flat-leaf parsley has the best flavour for cooking and salads, and is most widely used in Mediterranean countries Tends to have a stronger, sweeter flavour than curly parsley
Use whole sprigs, pinch off leaves, or chop leaves and/or stems
Peppermint (M. x piperita) [Lamiaceae]
Use mint to flavour: • Peas • Potatoes • Lamb • Feta cheese • Tea • Summer drinks
Mint sauce is the perfect compliment to lamb - simply mix two handfuls of chopped mint leaves with some apple juice, cider vinegar and caster sugar.
Indian cooking emphasizes its refreshing qualities in chutneys and raitas and uses the freshness of mint to counter the warmth of spices in vegetable and meat dishes.
Mint's refreshing effect enhances fruit salads and fruit punches. Grind shredded mint leaves into some caster sugar and sprinkle over strawberries for a delicious, fresh flavour.
Mint makes a good iced parfait, and minty notes go well with chocolate desserts & cakes.
Add mint leaves to shortbread and icing sugar.
For cooking, pick off (and use) the leaves from the cut stem. Use the entire sprig (stem and leaves) if you are adding mint to a drink.
(Rosmarinus officinalis) [Lamiaceae]
The flavour of rosemary is strong and
unsubtle; it is not diminished by long cooking,
so use rosemary judiciously, even in slow stews.
It's used in Mediterranean cuisines and ideal with roasted or fried vegetables and olive oil. In Italy it is popular with veal.
Whole sprigs are good in marinades, especially for lamb, and will give a subtle, smoky flavour when placed under meat or poultry being barbecued or roasted.
Older woody stalks can be used as skewers for kebabs, or as basting brushes.
Rosemary is a great addition to foccacia and other homemade breads.
Leaves can be used to flavour meat (especially lamb) but also work well with sausages, stuffing, soups and stews.
Very small amounts – grounded or powdered - can be added to biscuits and jams.
Use whole sprigs, or strip off leaves and chop
Salvia officinalis [Lamiaceae]
Salvia means 'to heal', and sage is highly prized for its antiseptic, digestive and antibacterial properties. Sage aids the digestion of fatty and oily foods and it is traditionally used as a partner for them.
In Britain, sage is associated with pork, goose & duck and works well in stuffing for these meats. Sage works well added to a chowder stew made with clams, fish, or seafood with potatoes, onions and milk.
Use whole sprigs, or strip off leaves and chop
Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Lemon Thyme (T. x citriodorus) [Lamiaceae]
Unlike most herbs, thyme withstands long, slow cooking retaining its flavour and, used with discretion, it enhances other herbs without overpowering them.
Thyme is indispensable in every French stew, from pot-au-feu to cassoulet, but equally in Spanish ones as well.
Thyme is widely used to flavour pâté and terrines, thick vegetable soups, tomato and wine-based sauces, and in marinades for pork and game.
Used sparingly in cooking, thyme is good with meat but also aubergines, cabbage, carrots, lamb, leeks, wild mushrooms, onions, potatoes, pulses, rabbit and tomatoes. It also works well in stuffing and pies.
Use whole sprigs or strip off leaves
Looks and grows like English thyme, and is used in any dish that cries out for lemons.
It has a citrus flavour, but is milder than most other thyme. This citrus flavour helps to lighten fatty dishes.
Lemon Thyme is added to marinades for grilled fish, chicken and roast duck, and works well in creamy potato gratins, risotto and carrots.
It can also be used to season seafood dishes and sweets.
The natural oils work as a digestive aid and are used in aromatherapy and asthma treatment.
The aromatic herb (a member of the parsley family). The dried ripe seeds are used in pickles, sauces, etc. The young leaves are also used, fresh, dried, or frozen (dill weed) to flavour fish and other dishes. Dill pepper is a mixture of dill seed, dill weed, and ground black pepper used as a condiment.
Anthriscus Cerefolium Fam: Umbelliferae
Chervil complements scrambled eggs and omelets, cream cheese and herb sandwiches, salads and even mashed potatoes
Marjoram can be used alone or substituted for oregano and will impart a milder, sweeter, and somewhat earthy flavor to a dish. Marjoram loves meat and complements other herbs and herb blends.
Add marjoram immediately before serving, as heating it for extended periods lessens its sweet, earthy flavor.
Oregano's flavour is bold and gutsy; it wants to be noticed. The herb is a natural with garlic; in fact, it's hard to find a recipe that includes oregano but not garlic. I also like to use it along with lemon or steeped in vinegar.