If you love good food, herbs should be your best friends. Just a sprig of parsley or a bay leaf can transform bland dishes into meals bursting with flavor. Herbs are usually very inexpensive and can even be frozen for later use, like during the winter when they are not as common in stores. There are six herbs in particular that every chef should be embracing flavor with herbs.
Parsley, specifically flat-leaf parsley, is a very common herb and very popular. It has a light grassy flavor and can be chewed to freshen one’s breath. For food dishes, there really isn’t anything it can’t be paired with. It brightens up bland food like rice and eggs.
Coriander seeds come from the cilantro plant but have an earthy, lemon-like taste. They are great for Mexican and Indian dishes, like beans and curries. It’s also a good spice for rubs on chicken and fish.
Thyme is a stronger herb and has a fragrant, “woodsy” flavor. It is frequently used in soups, sauces, potatoes, and dishes. It can be used in bread to add a rustic, aromatic element, or even infused with butter.
Oregano is another herb that has a lemony taste. It can be used either fresh or dried for Mediterranean foods like pizza, grilled meat, and tomato sauces. It brightens up flavor-packed meals, so use with food that has strong flavors.
Basil is frequently described as having a “licorice” flavor. It is strong and serves as a key ingredient in pesto. It is also used with Caprese salad (tomato and mozzarella salad) and can be added to potato or pasta dishes.
Old Bay is a mix of bay leaves, cloves, allspice, ginger, celery salt, mustard, and other spices. It is famous as a seafood spice, but can also be used for rich stews, soups, and even mashed potatoes. Unlike the other herbs in this list, you should not eat the actual bay leaf itself, since it is very tough and can cause indigestion. Its flavors come out when it is simmered.