Arugula

Arugula is technically known as a salad green or salad herb. Add to lettuce, tomatoes and any other mixed baby salad greens, and create new and exciting taste sensations. Arugula is very very low in calories and is also high in vitamins A and C. Arugula is also known as rocket, roquette, rugula and rucola, and is very popular in Italian cuisine. Its leaves have a unique, peppery sweet tang, adding pizzazz even to the blandest salads. Although arugula provides a flavor impact, it does not have an aftertaste.

Basil

One of the most popular culinary herbs is sweet basil. Fresh leaves may be stored in a cool place or in the refrigerator for a very short time. Also indispensable for many Mediterranean dishes, the fresh leaf has a sweet, clovelike spiciness and is excellent with tomato dishes. Its flavor is strong enough to stand up to the pungency of garlic, so it is often paired together like in Pesto. Add fresh herbs only at the end of cooking or upon serving. Many species of the basil herb exist, but the most popular is sweet basil. Basil is considered one of the most important and highly used herbs in the culinary world and is popular in the cooking of many types of cuisine. The strong, clove like flavor is essential to many Italian recipes and it is paired most often with tomatoes. Basil is primarily used in sauces, pizzas, salads and pasta dishes. It is also the main ingredient used in pesto.

Bay Leaves

Also know as sweet bay, sweet laurel, bay laurel and laurel leaf. Store in a cool, dry place, away from bright light, heat and moisture. Add a bay leaf or two to marinades, stock, pâtés, stews, stuffings and curries. When poaching fish, add a bay leaf to the water. Store with rice in a tight fitting jar and the leaf will impart its flavor to the rice when cooked. Bay leaves greatly improve flavor if you are cutting down on salt. Try adding a bay leaf or two when you boil potatoes to replace salt. Always remember to remove the whole bay leaf after cooking in any dish. Fragrant bay leaves are a basic ingredient of bouquet garni, but they have other wonderful uses. Bay leaves may be added to many fish dishes, particularly salmon, custards, stews, rice dishes and especially soups. Homemade chicken soup would not be homemade without a bay leaf or two. Don't worry about using the fresh herb, the dried version is usually all that is needed. However, overuse of this herb can make a dish bitter. Remember to always add leaves to the start of cooking and remove before serving.

Bronze Fennel

Also known as finocchio, common fennel, sweet fennel, wild fennel and sweet cumin. Fennel yields a herb and a spice. The stems and leaves are all edible. The spice comes from the dried seeds, the herb comes from the leaves and the stalk and root are the vegetable. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean and is one of our oldest cultivated plants. Roman warriors took fennel to keep in good health while their ladies ate it to prevent obesity. It pairs well with fish, but Italians also like to add it to sauces, meats & sausages. If you are familiar with the taste, it is probably from having it in commercially prepared sausages. Add the fronds to sauces, breads, savory crackers and water for poaching fish. Stuff the leaves into oily fish like mackerel and sprinkle finely chopped stems and leaves on salads and cooked vegetables and can also be added to soups and stuffings.

Chervil

Also known as Gourmet Parsley and Garden Chervil. Use as fresh leaves Chervil is a delicate herb with subtle taste. It has a slightly anise-like flavor that can be quickly lost in cooking. Garnish salads with it, but serve it at the last moment. Chervil is a very popular herb in France. It is one of the classic ingredients in the traditional French herb blend, Fines Herbes and is very popular in French cuisine. It has a delicate flavor and is suitable wherever parsley is used. Chop the leaf into soups, omelettes (fish and egg dishes in the last ten to twelve minutes of cooking so its flavor is not cooked away), salads, dressings and add to chicken before roasting. Chervil is better used as a fresh herb because during a cooking process a lot of its anise - like aroma and parsley taste is lost. Chervil is extremely delicate but may be preserved in vinegar and oil.

Chives

Chives are a mild member herb of the onion family. Chives has many uses and can be added to potato salad, baked potatoes, soups, salads, omelets, dips and spreads, pastas and sauces. Use it anywhere you want to add onion flavor without the harsh pungency of onion. Best if used fresh. The flavor is lost in drying. Add fresh or dried chives at the end of cooking to preserve the flavor. However, once you taste fresh chives, you will know there is no comparison of flavor. Store fresh chives in damp paper towel in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also chop fresh chives and freeze them with water in ice cube trays to use later when needed. Chopped chives lift many foods above the ordinary. Sprinkle them on soups, salads, chicken, potatoes, cooked vegetables and egg dishes. Blend chopped chives with butter or cream cheese , yogurt sauces and baked potatoes. Add toward the end of cooking or as a garnish.

Coriander

This is also know as cilantro or Chinese parsley. The pungent leaves are used in many dishes throughout the world. This is one herb that you will either love or hate. The plant is very hard to grow and successive plantings are needed to have a constant supply. During the warmer months the coriander plant will bolt quickly before producing many leaves hence the home gardener does not grow this herb with much success as a rule! Coriander is great in curries, and a lot of Asian cooking. It adds a great flavour to soups and is a match made in heaven for salsas and a lot of Mexican food. Coriander should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or bag to ensure longevity of life. This is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking. It can replace parsley in any dish to change its flavour and add a new twist!

Dill

Fresh leaves can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or chop finely and mix with one tablespoon of water and freeze in ice cube trays. After the cubes are frozen, place in plastic zip-lock freezer bags and return to freezer. Dill is a herb that produces clusters of small flowers from which dill seed is gathered and dill weed is obtained from the thin, feathery leaves. The light aroma of dill faintly resembles licorice. Dill is good in soups, omelets, seafood dishes, herring, salmon, potato salads, and steamed vegetables. Dill seed is used in breads, pickling, cabbage dishes, stews, rice and cooked root vegetables. Dill has a totally unique spicy green taste. Add whole seeds to potato salad, pickles, bean soups and salmon dishes. Ground seed can flavor herb butter, mayonnaise and mustard. The leaves go well with fish, cream cheese and cucumber.

Fennel

Also known as finocchio, common fennel, sweet fennel, wild fennel and sweet cumin. Fennel yields a herb and a spice. The stems and leaves are all edible. The spice comes from the dried seeds, the herb comes from the leaves and the stalk and root are the vegetable. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean and is one of our oldest cultivated plants. Roman warriors took fennel to keep in good health while their ladies ate it to prevent obesity. It pairs well with fish, but Italians also like to add it to sauces, meats & sausages. If you are familiar with the taste, it is probably from having it in commercially prepared sausages. Add the fronds to sauces, breads, savory crackers and water for poaching fish. Stuff the leaves into oily fish like mackerel and sprinkle finely chopped stems and leaves on salads and cooked vegetables and can also be added to soups and stuffings.

Feather Peas

Feather peas, some times known at Pea tendrils or Fiji feathers are a great garnish for any dish. Chefs love the use of these shoots as they hold up for a long time on a plate and a quick dip in iced water will rejuvenate and limp l,looking stems. They are great mixed into a salad adding a great pea flavour and original vibrancy to a plain green lettuce salad. Feather peas need to be sown successively and harvested while young to ensure the stems do not turn woody. Kids love them as a healthy snack in their lunch boxes

Garlic chives

Garlic chives can be used like regular chives where you want to add a subtle garlic flavor in uncooked dishes where raw regular garlic would be overwhelming or too spicy. This herb is a great replacement for garlic salts and powdered garlic. This herb is particularly good in Oriental dishes especially Oriental soups. Finely chopped blades are great added to stir-frys and egg dishes.

Italian / Flat leaf Parsley

Parsley is a great all around herb. It quickly adds a touch of color and texture to any recipe. The aroma and taste of parsley is very distinctive for a herb that is generally described as being mild and non obtrusive. Use fresh in any recipe. Especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes as well as sauces to go with fish, poultry, veal and pork. Use fresh leaves as garnish. Parsley has a delicate favor that combines well with other herbs like basil, bay leaves, chives, dill, garlic, mint, oregano and thyme. Flat leaf or Italian is used primarily in cooking because of its more robust flavor. Add at the end of cooking for better flavor.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is a great herb to use as a garnish for deserts and also as a refreshing drink if steeped in hot water for a short while. May be drunk hot or cold over ice in a long glass with a sprig of the same herb. Great refreshing drink on a hot summers day.

Lovage

Lovage is also known as love parsley, sea parsley, lavose, liveche, smallage, maggi plant, old English lovage. Lovage is a hardy perennial herb, with ribbed stalks similar to celery with hollow stems that divide into branches near the top. It has yellow flowers and it leaves are dark green. Roots have a nutty favor. Lovage has a strong taste and odor similar to celery and parsley. The leaves can be used fresh in salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, potato dishes, squash, has been used to make tea and wine. Leafstalks can be eaten fresh or candied and hollow stems can be candied and used as straws in Bloody Marys.

Mint tips

Mint is an herb that comes in many varieties such as peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, lemon mint and even chocolate mint. Mint came to the New World with colonists, who used it in tea for medicinal purposes. Mint is used for seasoning lamb, vegetable such as carrots, bell pepper, and tomatoes, in yogurt dressings, and breads. It is also used in the Middle East for salads, tabouli and marinated vegetables. Mint is good in soups, salads, sauces, plain meat, fish and poultry, stews, sweet or savory recipes, extremely good with chocolate or lemon based desserts. Add near the end of cooking for a better flavor.

Mizuna

Japanese Greens / Chinese Lettuce. This salad herb has dark green deeply indented feathery leaves. A variety peculiar to Japan, the leaves have a mild fresh crisp taste not at all pungent and can be used in all types of salads or cooked with meat. Excellent garnish, due to its deeply serrated leaves. May be used to dress up any plain lettuce salad

Oregano

Oregano is also known as wild marjoram. It is the O. vulgare variety of the Origanum family. Oregano is a herb that derives its name from two Greek words meaning "the joy of the mountain". It is a hardy member of the mint family that has been used for flavoring fish, meat and sauces since ancient times. Oregano goes well with vegetables, roast beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Marjoram goes well with all pork and veal and complements stuffing for poultry, dumplings and herb scones or breads. Generally used to season Mexican, Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes. Oregano has a warm, aromatic scent and robust taste. It's uses include seasoning soups, stews, meat pies, pasta sauces and shellfish.

Parcel

This is a cross between parsley and celery hence the name par-cel! A great all round herb that can be used in any situation that celery or parsley are required. Giving a slight twist to the normal flavours. Parcel is great in all soups stews, scones ,etc etc. the whole part of the herb is usable with the sweet stems giving off the best flavours when cut finely. Makes a great swizzle stick for a bloody mary!!!

Pizza thyme

Fresh pizza thyme is a herb that has round green leaves and a subtle lemon, yet minty aroma and taste. Thyme is used in a wide variety of cuisine, but pizza thyme is great on pizzas especially with its softer more subtle flavour It can be used in soups and sauces, with meat, poultry or fish. Thyme is included in seasoning blends for poultry and stuffing and also commonly used in fish sauces, chowders, and soups. It goes well with lamb and veal as well as in eggs and croquettes. Thyme if often paired with tomatoes.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a herb of the mint family. It is a small evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean and likes warm climates, but will flourish in nearly any climate. It is produced all over the world. Rosemary's aromatic flavor blends well with garlic and thyme to season lamb roasts, meat stews, and marinades. Rosemary also enlivens lighter fish and poultry dishes, tomato sauces, and vegetables. Dress fresh steamed red potatoes and peas or a stir fried mixture of zucchini and summer squash. Rosemary has a tea like aroma and a piney flavor. Crush leaves by hand or with a mortar and pestle before using. Great on a BBQ.

Sage Green/Purple

Sage is available in fresh or dried leaves whole, crumbled (rubbed) or ground. Sage is a herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family. Fresh sage sprigs have long, narrow grayish green leaves or purple grey leaves and, although it is a member of the mint family, it has a musty yet smoky aroma. Sage enhances pork, lamb, meats, and sausages. Chopped leaves flavor salads, pickles, and cheese. Use ground Sage sparingly as foods absorb its flavor more quickly. Sage is a wonderful flavor enhancement for seafood, vegetables, stuffing, and savory breads. Rub sage, cracked pepper, and garlic into pork tenderloin or chops before cooking.

Sorrel

Sorrel is a green leaf vegetable native to Europe. It is also called common sorrel or spinach dock, and is actually considered less a vegetable and more an herb in some cultures. In appearance sorrel greatly resembles spinach and in taste sorrel can range from comparable to the kiwifruit in young leaves, to a more acidic tasting older leaf. As sorrel ages it tends to grow more acidic due to the presence of oxalic acid, which actually gets stronger and tastes more prominent. Young sorrel may be harvested to use in salads, soups or stews. If you are planning on using sorrel in salads, it’s a good idea to stick with small tender leaves that have the fruitier and less acidic taste. Young sorrel leaves are also excellent when lightly cooked, similar to the taste of cooked chard or spinach. For soups and stews, older sorrel can be used because it adds tang and flavor to the dish. Throughout the Caribbean you can find deep red sorrel, which is not a close relative to European sorrel. Unlike European sorrel, it is an annual plant instead of a perennial. It does have a similar acidic taste and is favored in drinks, jellies, and sometimes in tarts.

Tarragon

Also known as French true tarragon. Tarragon is an exceptional herb. It has a subtle and sophisticated flavor and is an essential herb in French cuisine. It's flavor is delicate and almost licorice or anise-like. Tarragon is native to Siberia. Tarragon, together with parsley, chervil, and chives make a traditional French blend, Fines Herbes. Tarragon is exceptional in egg dishes, poached fish, mushrooms and other vegetables. Tarragon is good with chicken and in salad dressings. It is often used in sauces like béarnaise and French cuisine. Tarragon is also often used to infuse vinegar and olive oils.

Thyme

Fresh thyme is an herb that has thin grayish green leaves and a subtle lemon, yet minty aroma and taste. Thyme is used in a wide variety of cuisine, but is most closely associated with French cuisine. It is often used in soups and sauces, with meat, poultry or fish. It is also a very important component of herbes de Provence and bouquet garni. Fresh thyme has the most flavor used whole, with the stem. Thyme is included in seasoning blends for poultry and stuffing and also commonly used in fish sauces, chowders, and soups. It goes well with lamb and veal as well as in eggs and croquettes. Thyme if often paired with tomatoes.

Watercress

A great all round herb used in cooking and salads alike. Great to use in cooking with all meats. Has a great peppery taste that adds a full flavour to all socks when cooking a ‘boilup’. Mix into a plain salad to give a lift in flavour. Full of iron, so great for your diet. Watercress is one of the great all round herbs use in plentiful amounts when cooking as it does reduce down considerably. Can be used like spinach as a vegetable also!!! Try it in a stir fry, scones, with mashed potato wilted over fish...... the list goes on and on!!! Love watercress!!!

Wheat Grass

Wheatgrass is the young wheat plant. It is one of the most widely used supplemental health foods today. It is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes. Drinking fresh wheatgrass juice is an exceptional way to increase dark green leafy vegetables in the diet. (At this early stage of the plant's life it is considered a vegetable rather than a grain and is safe for gluten-sensitive individuals.) A shot of wheatgrass has the equivalent nutritional value of 2kg of choice vegetables! Juicing unlocks the nutrients in vegetables and fruits, concentrating them and making them more available to the cells of the body. Ann Wigmore introduced wheatgrass juice to America more than thirty years ago. In her books, Wigmore says it is an ideal food to nourish the body and rid it of toxins. It is especially important to anyone who suffers from pain or illness. The high chlorophyll content of wheatgrass acts as a "magnet" in drawing out toxins from the body. Chlorophyll is an internal deodorant which cleanses tissues and is soothing and healing. Chlorophyll, the "blood of plants", is very similar to our own blood. Its molecular structure closely resembles hemin, the pigment that combines with protein to form hemoglobin. Start with just one shot of wheatgrass juice per day. A therapeutic program may include as much as two or three shots.

Micro herbs

These are the tiny herbs that have just germinated so are full of flavour and goodness. There are often used in fine dining restaurants as garnish but this is by no means their limitation!!! Put in a sandwich to give a flavour packed punch and goodness. Sometimes Micro herbs are known as herb cress. Great to embellish any dish!!