Fresh herbs can vastly improve the flavor of many everyday dishes, so we've collected everything you need to know about herbs in one handy gallery. Photos, flavor profiles, and recipes links will get you started on the path to herbal bliss.
Popular in pesto and caprese salads, stacked with mozzarella, tomato & olive oil, basil is a warming aromatic herb belonging to the mint family. It has a strong flavor often used in Italian cooking. Basil punches up the flavors of foods like cucumbers, mackerel, salmon and eggplant. It's also very popular in pastas, omelets and cheese spreads.
Take our Fresh Herb ID Quiz.
With a threadlike foliage and distinctive, powerful flavor, dill adds zest to salads, vegetables, meats and sauces. Fresh dill should be added toward the ending of cooking time because it quickly loses its fragrance. On the flip side, heat brings out the flavor of dill seed, the dried fruit of the herb. Try dill with foods like cabbage, mushrooms, cream cheese, avocado and fish.
Add a lick of licorice flavor to dishes with this fancy, feathery herb. With a sweet odor and taste that is often confused with anise, the aromatic bulbous stem base can be eaten cooked or raw in salads. The greenery is often used as a garnish or as a last-minute flavor enhancer. The seeds work well in both sweet and savory dishes, and make an excellent breakfast tea.
Chervil is an herb that comes from the parsley family. The fresh fern-like leaves can be used liberally as a garnish with chicken, veal, omelets, green salads, and spinach and in potato soups enriched with cream. Chervil should be used fresh and green rather than dried.
The dried seeds of this Cilantro are called coriander, but Americans use a different name for the leaves. Cilantro's strongly-scented leaves, with their pungent flavor are often used to garnish salads and highly spiced foods.
The chive is the smallest member of the onion family and is closely related to garlic, leeks and shallots. Chives and their edible flowers are a tasty and colorful addition to salads. They work well in many cooked dishes but should be added toward the end of the cook time to retain flavor.
Thyme, which hails from the mint family, has a light lemony flavor. It adds warmth and pungency to game, roasted pork, chicken and fish. It's also a great fit with clam chowder, gumbo and summer squash.
Epazote has a distinctive flavor -- and anti-flatulent properties -- which make it one of the essential ingredients in traditional black beans. It is also known as Mexican tea.
Browse our epazote recipes.
Known as the "healing herb," lemon balm is a citrusy, fresh scented herb. Its delicate lemon flavor adds zest to both sweet and tangy dishes. Fresh and dried leaves can be used.
Browse our lemon balm recipes.
The citral oil in lemongrass is a key flavor in Vietnamese, Thai and Malaysian cooking.
Browse our lemongrass recipes.