Using Herbs in Recipes

Quick guide to some common potherbs and their culinary uses and the foods, dishes, and vegetables they enhance.


(Ocimum basilicum)

Basil goes great with tomatoes, soups, salads, pizza, salad dressings, chicken dishes, egg dishes, salmon, tuna, spaghetti, meatloaf, dips, herb sandwiches, green beans, wax beans, cauliflower, and corn.

Bay leaves

(Laurus nobilis)

Bay leaves are exceptional with meats, stews, steamed fish, sauces, soups, pickling, casseroles, stocks, syrups, garnish, pâté and terrines.


(Anthriscus cerefolium)

Use chervil with eggs, salads, vegetables, soups, chicken, fish, herb butter, and cottage cheese.


(Allium schoenoprasum)

Try chives in dips, sauces, spreads, garnish, cold chicken, barbecued meats, baked and mashed potatoes, egg dishes, cheese soufflés, salads, carrots, soups, vichyssoise, and herb sandwiches.


(Coriandrum sativum)

Cilantro was made for salads, guacamole, soups, stews, salsas, chutneys, dips, beans, soups, used in Asian, Mexican, Indian, Tex Mex, Caribbean, and North African cuisines.


(Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander can often be found in ginger cookies, curry, Indian dishes, Greek dishes, Asian cooking, pickles, veal, fish, fruit puddings, tea cakes, and apple crumble recipes.

Dill weed

(Anethum graveolens)

Dill weed is yummy with seafood and shellfish, salads, herb butter, dips, sauces, soups, vegetable stews, fish dishes, vinegars and oils, breads and sandwiches, egg and cheese dishes, green beans, wax beans, and cabbage. Dill seeds are used in pickling, coleslaw, cakes, breads, and teas.


(Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel goes well with salads, fish, duck, pork, veal, sauces, stuffings / dressings, mayonnaise, flavored butters, and salad dressings. Fennel seeds are used in breads.

Lemon grass / Lemongrass

(Cymbopogon citratus)

Lemongrass is used in soups, sauces, stirfry, chicken, tomatoes, fish, seafood, beef, and Caribbean and Asian dishes (Thai and Vietnamese).



Mint goes with carrots, lamb sauce, pea soup, soft cheeses, herb sandwiches, egg dishes, vegetables such as buttered peas, mashed potatoes, mint ice, cold drinks, mint juleps, mint jelly, sauces, tea, garnish, and desserts (mmm mint ice cream).


(Origanum vulgare)

Oregano can be commonly found in meat sauces, tomato sauces, breads, Italian dishes, pizza, casseroles, soups (tomato, pea), pates and poultry dishes, and goes great with veal, egg dishes, salads, beans, rice, and vegetables including cabbage.


(Petroselinum crispum )

Parsley is a natural in fish and meat sauces, salads, soups (vegetable, tomato, fish), dips, vegetables, omelettes and other egg dishes, breads and sandwiches, sausage, stuffing, hamburgers, tuna loaf, potatoes, salad dressings, and, of course, garnishes.


(Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is delectable in lamb, chicken and poultry sauces, beef and mutton stock, vegetables in particular cauliflower, breads and scones, dumplings, liver pâté, stews, and dressings.


(Salvia officinalis)

Look for ways to use sage with stuffing / dressing, soups (Minestrone, chicken), sauces, pork, meatballs, meatloaf, Welsh rabbit, pizza, fish, goose, duck, sausage, casseroles, omelettes, vegetarian stews, salads, and with Brussels sprouts.



Try savory with vegetables, dried bean dishes, soups, lentils, eggs, stuffings / dressings, condiments, hamburger, and to add more flavor to gravy.


(Rumex scutatus)

Sorrel is spectacular in cold soups and in white and cream sauces, as well as with salads, vegetables, fish, eggs, poultry, white meats, and goat cheese.

Sweet Marjoram

(Origanum majorana)

Sweet marjoram sings in dishes with peas, stuffings / dressings, soups, salads, sauces, egg and cheese dishes, stews, and fruit salads.


(Artemisia dracunculus)

Tarragon brings flavor to chicken / poultry, mild fish, fish sauces and soups, tarragon tartare sauce (tartar sauce), mushrooms, meats, liver, pâté, seafoods, egg dishes, green salads, mayonnaise, cream and butter sauces, salad dressings (especially a mustard or vinegar-based dressing), vinegars and oils, vegetables (carrots, green beans, and cauliflower in particular), butter, and cottage cheese. Tarragon is a key flavoring in the classic Béarnaise sauce.


(Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme is terrific in chowders, cheeses, salads, chicken and fish marinades, beef broth, soups (vegetable, chicken), liver, pâté, meatballs, meatloaf, braised rabbit, chicken, stuffing, egg dishes, broccoli, beans, lentil stew, tomatoes, butters, cottage cheese, vinegars and oils.

potherb: A plant whose leaves, stems, or flowers are cooked and eaten or used as seasoning.
(“potherbs.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.)

Recommended reading:
Growing and Using Herbs in Cooking
Homemade Herbal Flavored Vinegar Recipes
Growing & Using Basil
Growing & Using Tarragon
Growing and Using Garlic
Growing & Using Rosemary
Growing & Using Oregano
Growing & Using Chives
Grow 15 Herbs for the Kitchen: Storey Country Wisdom
Growing & Using Sage
Container Gardening

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