Our chefs' handy kitchen herb guide
Here's our chefs' handy kitchen herb guide to help you select the ones you need when cooking. Or if you're growing your own plants this year, the below should assist you with ideas for how to use them in your dishes. Enjoy!
Leaves from Aruse Hyssop can be used in salads and to make refreshing tea. They can be added to summer fruit drinks. Equally, they can be chopped and used as a seasoning in pork dishes or in savoury rice. Flowers can be added to fruit salads to give a splash of colour.
Good for winter use, as fresh leaves are easily obtainable. Use its leaf generously in salads, soups, sauces, vegetables, chicken, white fish and egg dishes. Add freshly chopped towards the end of cooking to avoid loss of flavour.
Common Thyme has thin green aromatic leaves. Used as a main ingredient of bouquet garni and in stews, salads, sauces, stocks and marinades. A sprig or two with an onion makes a great herb stuffing for chicken.
The whole plant is edible. The leaves and ripe seeds have two distinct flavours. The seeds are warmly aromatic and the leaves have an earthy pungency. Coriander seeds are used regularly in Garam Masala (a mixture of spices) and in curries. Use ground seed in tomato chutney, ratatouille, frankfurters, curries, and, also, in apple pies, cakes, biscuits and marmalades. Add whole seeds to soups, sauces and vegetable dishes. Add fresh lower leaves to curries, stews, salads, and sauces and as a garnish. Delicious in salads, vegetables and poultry dishes. A bunch of coriander leaves with vinaigrette dressing goes particularly well with hard boiled eggs.
The chopped leaves of English Mace can be used to stuff chicken, flavour soups and stews and to sprinkle on potato salads, rice and pasta dishes. The leaf has a mild, warm, aromatic flavour and combines well with other herbs.
Its flavour complements many dishes including chicken, veal, fish, stuffed tomatoes, rice dishes and salad dressings.
Parsley is mainly used as a garnish. Cooking with parsley enhances the flavour of other foods and herbs. In bland dishes, the best flavour is obtained by adding it just before the end of cooking.
It has needle shaped, dark green leaves are highly aromatic. This is one of the most useful culinary herbs, combining with meat, especially lamb, casseroles, tomato sauces, baked fish, rice, salads, egg dishes, apples, summer wine, cordials, vinegars and oils.
Its young leaves are refreshing in salads and can be used generously. They certainly enhance winter salads. Tender young leaves can also be added to soups, cold drinks, cream cheese or used like parsley, as a garnish or to flavour casseroles. Add at the beginning of cooking. Salad Burnet combines with other leaves, especially rosemary and tarragon. Serve in a sauce with white fish.
Salad Rocket (Roquette)
The oval lance shaped leaves of rocket have a nutty flavour. Add the leaves to all forms of salad. The younger leaves have a milder taste than the older ones, which have a definite peppery flavour. Leaves can also be added to sauces and to other vegetable dishes either raw or steamed. This herb is one of many leaves included in the Provencale salad mixture called Mesclun.