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.

Lemon Verbena

This herb captures the tangy scent of lemon without the tart flavor. Unfortunately, it is not commonly available at supermarkets, so look for it at farmers’ markets or grow your own. It imparts an exquisite flavor to custards, cream toppings or yogurt; add a finely chopped tablespoon to whipped cream and serve with sliced strawberries. Lemon verbena also makes a beautiful and fragrant garnish for white-wine spritzers or iced tea.

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