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Herbs and Spices – description of herbs and spices and how to use them





Herbs and
Spices

We all have those tiny jars of different Herbs and Spices in our kitchen cupboards but
what exactly are they and how should they be used?

HERB

DESCRIPTION

USE

Basil

Leaf

Good herb for salads,
although it is also excellent in stew, soups etc. At its best with fresh tomatoes or in
any dish containing cooked tomatoes or tomato sauce.

Bay
leaves

Thickish shiny leaf

Can be used in soups,
stocks, stews etc. as well as court-bouillon for fish.

Bouquet
Garni

Collection of herbs

The classic bouquet
garni is composed of three sprigs of parsley, including stems which contain most of the
flavour, one sprig of thyme and half a bay leaf, tied together in muslin. However, many
variations are possible such as the inclusion of peppercorns, mace, cloves or other herbs
such as rosemary or marjoram.

Celery
salt

Granular

Mild and pleasant in
flavour and can be used generously in all kinds of hot dishes. Excellent in tomato soup.

Chervil

 

Similar flavour to
parsley, but milder. Can be used fresh as a garnish or in soups, stews and salads.

Cloves

Brown and twig like.

Excellent for both
sweet and savoury dishes, should be used sparingly as it has a strong flavour. At its best
in combination with other flavourings, particularly good with apples and ham.

Dill

 

Quite a sharp, pungent
flavour, used in pickling. Also good in salads and salad dressings.

Garlic
salt

Granular

May be used as a
substitute for fresh garlic. Should be used with discretion as too much will dominate all
other flavours.

Marjoram

 

Use sparingly for
flavouring soups, stews etc. and in stuffings for meat and fish.

Mint

Smallish green leaves

Popular, well known
herb, either fresh or dried. Particular good in salads, cooked with carrots, peas or new
potatoes. Also as a seasoning or sauce with lamb.

Nutmeg

Hard brown and nut like

Can be ground.

May be used in both
sweet and savoury dishes. A little grated nutmeg is excellent with potatoes, baked
custard, rice puddings etc.

Oregano

 

Italian herb, a form of
wild marjoram. Use sparingly in spaghetti and beef dishes.

Paprika

Reddish powder

Mild and sweet and can
be used generously as a flavouring or garnish for all kinds of dishes and soups.

Parsley

Green leaf.

Stems contain a lot of the flavour.

Used as flavouring and
garnish.

Can be used in salads, cooked vegetables, with all kinds of meat,
poultry and fish dishes.

Rosemary

Short, spiky leaf

Use sparingly in
salads, stews and spaghetti sauce. Very good for seasoning lamb.

Saffron

Dried stigmas of crocus

Mild, pleasant flavour.
Used to give a pale yellow colour to cakes, rice dishes and sauces.

Sage

Small, fleshy leaf

Good with all meat
dishes and in meat, poultry and sausage stuffings Particularly good with
pork and cheese but should
be used sparingly.

Savoury

 

Pleasant flavour and
combines well with others. Good with meat, meat stuffings, vegetable soups and sausages.

Tarragon

 

Good with fish and
mushrooms, in tartare sauce as well as in salads and other sauces. Use sparingly as is
fairly pungent

Thyme

 

Use sparingly in
stuffings, soups, meat and sauces.