Herbs and Spices
A glossary of herbs and spices along with common uses.
its scent is reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together. It is powerful so use it sparingly. Good in curry sauces.
or star anise, a sweet, licorice like taste. Use in moderation. Toast the seeds first in a little oil.
sweet and pungent; great in garlic/tomato-based sauces and Thai sauces. Good in marinades, too.
a strong taste that adds depth to sauces, stews, and soups. Bay
leaves come from the evergreen bay laurel tree in the Mediterranean Sea
area. They are typically removed after use because they taste bitter.
There are two types of bay leaves: Turkish and California. The California has a stronger flavor and 2-3 inch narrow leaves while the Turkish leaves are 1-2 inches long.
Bay leaves are used fresh or dried, noting the fresh leaf is more pungent than the dried version.
Store dried leaves for up to a year in an airtight container away from the light.
similar to dill seed. Mild, tangy flavor.
sharp, pungent, and sweet with cinnamon-like aroma. Good addition to sweet sauces as it allows sugar cutback. Used in Indian dishes.
Hot, ground red peppers used in Cajun and Tex-Mex sauces.
celery-like flavor used in salad dressings and coleslaw.
strong tasting with a hint of tarragon. Used with fish or fish sauces.
mild onion flavor used as a garnish or in sauces
also known as chinese parsley and coriander leaf. Best used in fresh form.
sweet, fragrant and used in curry sauces to dessert sauces.
evergreen bud used in pungent marinades or sweet sauces.
the seed of cilantro plant. spicy and citrus-like. Used in chili or delicate sauces.
mainstay in chili. Blends well with yogurt. Used in Indian cooking.
feathery leaf of the dill plant. Light fragrance with a pungent kick. Great in lemon-based sauces especially with fish. Does not bake well. Can be freeze dried. Flavor diminishes as it cooks.
seed of the dill plant. Generally does not substitute for dill weed. Bakes well.
licorice tasting, like anise, but milder. Use sparingly.
spicy, slightly bitter maple-like flavor found in curry sauces.
flavorful enhancer for most sauces. Use sparingly unless you want a garlicky kick.
sharp, spicy-sweet flavor used in Asian dishes and sweet sauces.
white root powder with a hot, hearty flavor. Wasabi is a green type of horseradish favored in Japanese cooking.
the ground outer covering of nutmeg. Pungent fragrance.
milder cousin of oregano. Used in Mediterranean cooking.
light, fragrant, and tangy. Good contrast to garlic.
hot and spicy; yellow color. Used in salad dressings and marinades.
mild, nutty, and fragrant. Good in cheese-based sauces or dessert sauces.
dominant herb in most spaghetti and pizza sauces.
mild, ground reddish powder used in creamy sauces. Made from the paprika pepper. Used in deviled eggs.
ever-present garnish with a mild herbal flavor
spicy berry with many variations including black, green, pink, and white. White pepper gives heat to most Chinese dishes.
tiny seeds with a sweetish, nutty taste and texture. Wonderful in coleslaw and sweet sauces.
fragrant, strongly flavored leaf that looks like a small pine needle.
expensive spice because of the number of flowers it takes to make. Used in traditional Indian, Spanish, and Mediterranean sauces.
strong, pleasant flavor with sweet, herbal fragrance.
mild, thyme-like taste that adds special fragrance to sauces.
mild, nut-like flavor that improves by roasting in a little oil. Nice, pleasing garnish.
rich, sweet flavor faintly like anise. Good with sauces accompanying chicken.
distinctive, pleasant herbal flavor. Nice in tomato-based sauces or salad dressings.
brilliant yellow ground spice with peppery aroma and ginger-like flavor. Adds the golden color to curry powder.