13 Fresh Herbs: A Guide to Flavorful Cooking

Are you tired of using the same old herbs in your dishes? It’s time to experiment with fresh herbs and elevate your culinary creations to a whole new level. In this article, we will explore 13 unique herbs and discover how to make the most of their flavors. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds!

Marjoram: The Lemony Sweet Delight

Alternate names: Sweet marjoram, knotted marjoram

Marjoram has a delightful grassy and lemony taste with a touch of sweetness. It is a versatile herb that works wonders in ensembles like herbes de Provence and za’atar. Pair it with meats and poultry, especially in stews, for an aromatic and flavorful twist. In Mexico, marjoram joins forces with thyme and oregano to create a lively pungent herbas de olor, similar to the French bouquet garni. Don’t hesitate to use marjoram in tomato sauces, white bean salads, fish dishes, and vinaigrettes for an extra zest.

What does marjoram look like? Marjoram resembles oregano, with green, oval, and flat leaves. Both belong to the mint family, but their flavors couldn’t be more distinct. While marjoram offers a sweet taste, oregano brings a spicy kick.

Tips for Using Fresh Herbs:

Cooking with herbs is an art that requires a delicate touch. To strike the perfect balance of flavors, follow these expert tips:

1. Look for Herbs that Stand Tall

When selecting herbs, choose those that stand tall without limping or drooping. Vibrant colored leaves free from brown spots are a sign of freshness. Take a whiff – a strong and fresh aroma ensures the herb’s flavor is intact.

2. Refrigerate the Herbs

To extend the lifespan of your herbs, refrigerate them. Wrap flat leaves or small stems in a damp paper towel and seal them in a plastic bag. For larger herbs such as basil, stand them upright in a glass of water before refrigerating.

3. Save Fresh Herbs for Last

To preserve the delicate flavors, add fresh herbs towards the end of your recipe. This way, the heat won’t diminish their aromatic essence, and your dish will burst with freshness.

4. Use Dried Herbs in a Pinch

While fresh herbs are preferable, dried herbs can come to the rescue. When substituting dried herbs, use the general rule of one teaspoon dried for one tablespoon of chopped fresh herb. Keep in mind that dried herbs tend to be more concentrated, so use them sparingly.

5. Try Growing Your Own!

For a constant supply of fresh herbs, why not grow them yourself? It’s rewarding and reduces waste since you can harvest what you need when you need it. Visit your local nursery garden or explore online catalog companies like Burpee and Park Seed for a wide variety of herbs.

Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey with these fresh herbs. Experiment, discover new combinations, and let your creativity run wild in the kitchen. The possibilities are endless, and your taste buds will thank you for it!