These 4 Herbs Will Easily Amp Up Any Dish

Here are the essentials to get you started.


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Fotolia//nolonely

Like celebrities of the springtime produce scene, earthy and elegant culinary herbs are an easy way to elevate just about any dish, both cooked in and as a final garnish. And lucky for us, spring means our area’s growth is about to get serious. Here are some verdant essentials to get you started: 

 

Mint

Look for vibrant green leaves of this pert and fragrant flavor. Though most associated as a counterpart to sweets and drinks, mint also works well in a variety of savory applications. Try it raw in salads, in a Middle Eastern tabbouleh, or in a pea or fava bean pesto.

 

Parsley

Once thought to ward off drunkenness, there are 30 different types of this peppery variety, the most common being curly-leaf and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley. It works well in a tag team with lemon, garlic, and/or Parmesan cheese, and is a surprisingly good source of Vitamins A and C.

 

Thyme

This is one of the most used (and loved!) herbs in the classic culinary arsenal. It has a subtle, earthy taste, that’s often measured in recipes by the “sprig,” or stem. That said, only the delicate leaves are edible, so remove the fronds by pinching the stem and gently running your fingers down its length.

 

Lavender

Often underestimated for its power in the kitchen, just a little of this herb gives an aromatic, rustic lift to all sorts of dishes. Just make sure the type you purchase is edible (both French and English varieties would be suitable).

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