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.

Spearmint & Peppermint

These hardy perennials have a reputation for taking over gardens, but considering their culinary uses, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The herb you buy in the supermarket is most likely spearmint. Also known as common mint or garden mint, this is the most practical variety for both sweet and savory dishes. Peppermint contains more menthol and is used primarily in candies, teas and sweets. Numerous varietals include gems like apple mint, orange mint, pineapple mint and chocolate mint. All make delightful flavorings and garnishes for desserts.

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