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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 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.

 

Basil

No other herb epitomizes the taste of summer like basil. Available in a number of varieties, this tender annual gives cooks attractive options to strew generously over tomato salads—try opal basil with maroon leaves, for instance. Thai basil’s anise tones enhance Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Dessert chefs will appreciate cinnamon basil and lemon basil, especially with peaches.

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