ABOUT HERBS (know about the herbs used in kitchen)

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Angelica is an herb that has several uses. The leaves are frequently added when cooking red currants, rhubarb, gooseberries and red plums to help reduce the acidity and sweeten these often sour fruits.
Its strong, clean flavor makes angelica stems an excellent candidate for crystallization. Its seeds are sometimes used in pastry. The stems are usually crystallized and used as a decorative pastry garnish. The leaves and stems impart a celery flavor if added to sauces, and vegetable dishes.Long ago, Angelica was burned as incense to perfume the house. The herb takes its name from the story that an angel came to earth when plague was rampant and told people to hold a piece of Angelica root in their mouths to ward off pestilence.The root of Angelica can be used for making tea. A syrup made from the stems and leaves can be stored and diluted to use as a drink and tea made from the dried leaves is said to be good for soothing the nerves, tension, colds coughs and rheumatism. 

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.Rinse the leaves in cool water and dry on paper toweling. Store in zip lock bag. Best if used within two days.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 populary culinary herbs is sweet basil. The best flavor of purple basil comes from the Red Rubin variety. Especially good in Thai dishes is the Thai Basil whose leaves have a spicy aniseed aroma with hints of mint and citrus. All can be found at most seed and plant nurseries. If you are unfamiliar with the nuances of different basils, your best bet is to start with the sweet basil (most often used in Pesto). Basil is available in fresh leaves and in dried leaves, which are also sometimes called rubbed. Fresh leaves may be stored in a cool place or in the refrigerator for a very short time. 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.

Bayleaf : 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. Available fresh, dried whole leaves or ground dried leaves. Bay is probably the one herb that most cooks prefer using dried than fresh.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. 


Bergamot : The flowers make an attractive garnish and can be crystallized. It is said a western species,
M. menthaefolia, can be used like oregano and the spicy flowers can be added to chili and salsa.
A Spanish botanist, Bergamot oil, which is used in authentic Earl Grey tea, is extracted from this plant.
The flowers maybe scattered in salads and the leaves infused by simmering for 10 minutes in an enamel saucepan for greater flavor. Put fresh leaf into China tea for an Earl Grey flavor, into wine cups and into lemonade. Add sparingly to salads, stuffings, pork. Use for jams, jellies and bergamot milk; pour 1 cup boiling milk over 1 tablespoon dried or 3 tablespoons shredded leaves, steep for 5 - 7 minutes, strain and serve.
Borage is a culinary herb mostly popular in Central Europe. Its light cucumber fragrance is usually suitable for salads prepared from raw vegetables. Sometimes borage is used to make pureed soups.
Borage is a favorite herb for flavoring summer drinks, usually fruit and wine cups. The blue and occasionally pink delicate flowers are edible. The leaves can be eaten in salads and the flowers added as decoration.
The blooms can also be candied. Watch out for the thorny like leaves. Tender leaves and star-shaped flowers have a very mild cucumber flavor. The plant grows wild in Central and Eastern Europe.
Boiling, frying and simmering will quickly destroy most of its characteristic fragrance.
Young flowers of borage can be pink and become blue only in the course of their individual flowering period.

 Caraway can be both an herb as well as a spice. The aromatic seeds come from a plant in the parsley family.The caraway plant, native to Asia, produces this sickle shaped seed that gives rye bread its distinctive flavor. The spice is used in beef stews, pork dishes, soups, candies, and baked goods, especially bread.
The caraway plant grows up to 2 feet in height with feathery leaves and cream white flowers. It is the leaves of this plant that can be used in cooking or salads. Their taste is very fresh with a sweet undertone much like parsley. The leaves should be cut during the growing season. Caraway seeds may also enhance the flavor of many vegetables. They are good tossed with boiled and quartered new potatoes, cabbage or in sauerkraut. Caraway seed is also known as a mild digestive aid.

Chervil: Also known as Gourmet Parsley and Garden Chervil. Can be used as fresh leaves or dried. Store dried leaves in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat light and moisture. Dried chervil will keep for 6 months.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 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. Soon, you will probably want a fresh pot of chives on your windowsill, even if you have nothing else in your herb garden.
Chopped chives lift many foods above the ordinary. Sprink 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 also known as cilantro or dhania, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia.The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (particularly in America).The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones.The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods (such as chutneys and salads), in Chinese dishes, in Mexican cooking, particularly in salsa and guacamole and as a garnish,oriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. A study found both the leaves and seed to contain antioxidants, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effectCoriander has been documented as a traditional treatment for diabetes.
Dill is available in weed and seed, both fresh and dried. Store dried seeds and leaves in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat, light and moisture. Leaves will keep for six months. Seeds will keep indefinitely.
Dill or dill weed is an 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 weed 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 yields an 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.
fennel seed
The seed is similar to anise seed, but sweeter and milder. 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 seeds 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. 

Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop.The seeds are used as a spice in curries, pickles and chutneys. The raw seeds are bitter so they are usually roasted gently to develop flavor before grinding (do not overheat as that will turn it red and bitter to the taste). The seeds are very hard, and difficult to grind, a mortar and pestle working best.Seed extract is used in imitation vanilla, butterscotch and rum flavorings, and is the main flavoring in imitation maple syrup. Fenugreek seeds are also used in candy, baked goods, ice cream, chewing gum and soft drinks. The seeds can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
The seeds may also be spouted and used as a winter salad herb. (Ready in 4 to 6 days) As the sprouts grow, the curry flavor recedes.The young leaves are a salad herb and can added to other salad greens like watercress for a delicious salad. Fresh or dried leaves are used to flavor other dishes. The dried leaves (called kasuri methi) have a bitter taste and a strong characteristic smell.

Hoja santa is an aromatic herb with a heart-shaped, velvety leaf which grows in tropic Mesoamerica. The name hoja santa means "sacred leaf" in Spanish. It is also known as yerba santa, hierba santa, Mexican pepperleaf, root beer plant, and sacred pepper.
hugo santa
The leaves can reach up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) or more in size. The complex flavor of hoja santa is not so easily described; it has been compared to eucalyptus, licorice, sassafras, anise, nutmeg, mint, tarragon, and black pepper. The flavor is stronger in the young stems and veins.
It is often used in Mexican cuisine for tamales, the fish or meat wrapped in fragrant leaves for cooking, and as an essential ingredient in Mole Verde, the green sauce originated in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. It is also chopped to flavor soups and eggs. In Central Mexico, it is used to flavor chocolate drinks. In southeastern Mexico, a green liquor called Verdín is made from hoja santa. While typically used fresh, it is also used in dried form, although drying removes much of the flavor and makes the leaf too brittle to be used as a wrapper.

Hops are the flowers used to season beer. Bittering hops, meaning adding hops early on in the boil process, provide bitterness to the beer to balance the sweetness of the malt. Hops added at the end of the boil, referred to as finishing hops, add flavor and aroma to the beer. Adding hops directly to the fermenter, or dry hopping, lends additional hop aroma to the beer.
Hops also serve as a natural preservative, helping to prevent spoilage in beer. Hops comes as either whole flowers or compressed pellets (think rabbit food). There are many varieties of hops available to homebrewers, allowing for great diversity of flavors and aromas.
Different hops are used to brew different styles of beer. For example, cascade hops give American pale ales their distinct citrusy quality, fuggles have an earthiness common in English-style ales, and saaz lend the spicy/herbal character found in European Pilsners. 

Lemongrass is a tall perennial grass. Common names include lemon grass, lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, fever grass or Hieba Luisa amongst many others.
Lemongrass is widely used as a herb in Asian (particularly Vietnamese, Hmong, Khmer, Thai, Lao, Malaysian, Indonesian, Philippine, Sri Lankan) and Caribbean cooking. It has a citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.For soups and simmered dishes, cut the trimmed stalk at a very sharp angle into inch-long pieces, exposing its fragrant interior. Smash with the flat blade of a cleaver or heavy knife to bruise and release the aromatic oils before adding to these dishes.
For salads, cut with a sharp knife into very thin rounds, breaking up the fibers that run the length of the stalk. When slicing, if the outer layer seems fibrous, peel it off before proceeding. Such thinly sliced rounds of the inner stalk can be easily chewed with other salad ingredients for a refreshing burst of lemony herb flavor.
For curries, cut the stalk into thin rounds before pounding in a stone mortar to reduce to paste. Although lemon grass appears dry when you are slicing it, when crushed, you will see that it really is quite moist. Crushing breaks the juice sacs in the fibers and releases the aromatic oils that make lemon grass so special. 

Marjoram is an herb that has a mild, sweet flavor similar to oregano ( it is closely related and of the same family - Origanum) with perhaps a hint of balsam. It is said to be “the meat herb" but it compliments all foods except sweets.While fresh marjoram is excellent with salads and mild flavored foods, it has the best taste and greatest pungency when they are dried. Marjoram has a slightly more delicate flavor than Oregano.
Marjoram because it is more delicate should be added toward the end of cooking so its flavor is not lost. Marjoram goes well with pork and veal and complements stuffing for poultry, dumplings and herb scones or breads.

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.

Mitsuba is also known as Japanese parsley, Japanese Chervil, Japanese wild parsley or honeywort. Mitsuba - a delightful Japanese herb with a clean fresh flavor reminiscent of angelica, celery and parsley.
Leaves, root and stems are used raw or cooked, seedlings and young leaves added to salads. The seed is used for seasoning and the stem can be blanched and used as a celery substitute. The cress-like young seedlings are used in salads and the stems and leaves are chopped and used to flavor a number of dishes.
The leaves which are dark green look a little like oversized flat leaf parsley.

Oregano is an 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.

 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 or dried parsley 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 weed, garlic, marjoram, mint, oregano and thyme.Flat leaf or Italian is used primarily in cooking because of its more robust flavor and curly parsley is used primaryily for garnish. Add at the end of cooking for better flavor.

Rosemary is an 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. 

Sage is an herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family. Fresh sage sprigs have long, narrow grayish green 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. Crumble leaves for full fragrance. 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. 

Savory is available in fresh or dried leaves. Tender leaves can be added fresh to salads or used as a garnish or bottle the herb in vinegar. Once dried and chopped, it is an integral part of herb mixtures like Herbes de Provence.There are two types of savory - winter and summer. The two look much the same, but winter is a bit more pungent. Savory smells and tastes like Mint and Rosemary chopped together.Savory is nicknamed the bean herb. It is typically used in soups, beans and as a meat and poultry seasoning. This herb tastes slightly warm and sharp. It is a very strong herb and should be used sparingly.Most commonly used as a seasoning for green vegetables, savory's special affinity is for beans. Use summer savory, with its more delicate flavor, for tender baby green beans, and winter savory to enhance a whole medley of dried beans and lentils.

Stevia is an herb from a semitropical perennial shrub of the daisy family, native to the mountains of Brazil and Paraguay. This plant packs so much sweetness into its leaves that they can be used in place of sugar.
One dried leaf, ground, is 10 to 15 times sweeter than an equal amount of sugar, and powdered extracts made from the leaves are up to 300 times as sweet, without the calories (make that no calories!). Plus it is a very attractive plant that pots well.Nonetheless, people can buy stevia powder and use it as a sugar replacement at home. One fresh stevia leaf is enough to sweeten a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of lemonade. The leaves can be added to barbecue sauce, salad dressings, soups, and stews.


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 garden 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.

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