Guide to Fresh Herbs

Usage and cooking tips for eleven common garden herbs.

Cooking with herbs is an easy way to infuse a recipe with flavor without increasing calories or fat. Not sure where to start? Try stirring a handful of basil and some marjoram into your favorite tomato sauce or rubbing a chicken with a mixture of thyme and rosemary before you roast it. Herbs like cilantro and mint are excellent tossed in an Asian-inspired salad. Some herbs may be more familiar to you than others. Experiment with a few at a time until you find ones that you like.


Long flat tender leaves identify tarragon. The French have perhaps most heartily embraced its bright licorice-like flavor, making it a star ingredient, along with chervil, parsley and chives, in the seasoning mixture fines herbes, as well as in traditional sauces, such as sauce béarnaise. To make the most of its particular flavor, add tarragon near the end of cooking.

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