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GOOD COOKING'S HERB AND SPICE GUIDE

This is a listing of many but not all of the popular herbs and spices used in culinary preparations. Use this as a guide to seasoning and a quick reference for plant information. I hope it will make you a better cook. For the chef who is also a gardener, much joy and the reward of having "fresh" ingredients to cook with can be attained by having a garden growing with some of your favorites. An herb garden can very easily be grown in several flower pots on a window sill as easily as it can in the expanse of a country garden.

Note * In the type column (a) means annual, (b) means bi-annual and (p) means perennial.

In the availability column (f) means fresh, (d) means dried

All meats means beef, chicken, pork, veal, duck, goose, etc.

Name Bot. Name Type How to Use Available
Allspice pimenta tree cakes, cookies, stews of beef, pork and game d
Angelica angelica archangelica a confectioneries candied
Anise pimpinella anisum a soups, sauces, cookies(licorice flavor) use mostly the seeds d
Annatto bixa orellana tree sauces, coloring foods, especially cheese dried seeds
Balm, Lemon melissa officinalis p tea, drinks, salads, fish, chicken f, d
Basil ocimum baslicum a breads, pasta, salads, all meats, vegetables, eggs f, d, frozen
Basil, Lemon ocimum citriodora a breads, pasta, salads, all meats, vegetables, eggs f, d, frozen
Basil, Ruffled ocimum crispum a breads, pasta, salads, all meats, vegetables, eggs f, d, frozen
Bay Leaf laurus nobilis p soups, stews, sauces, rice dishes (evergreen tree) f, d frozen
Borage borage officinalis a salads, soups, drinks (cucumber like flavor) blossoms as garnish f
Burnet sanguisorba minor p cool flavor similar to a cucumber, salads and drinks f
Chamomile anthemis nobilis p tea, sauces f, d
Camphor Tree cinnamomum camphora tree tea, bark used for smoking foods, (camphor smoked duck) in Chinese cuisine d
Capers unopened buds of the caper bush bush sauces, cold roast meat, condiment, smoked seafood f, d, pickled
Caraway carum carvi b salads, soups, sauces, stews, roasts, breads, kummel and aquavit liqueur (used seeds and fresh green leaves) usually not with fish f, d
Cardamom elettaria cardamomum p other spice blends, cookies, coffee, candies, (use seeds) d
Catnip nepeta cataria p tea f, d
Cayenne capsicum minimum a all dishes, a dried powder of ground hot peppers d
Celery apium graveolens dulce a vegetable, salads, soups, sauces, roasts, stews, all meats and fish f, canned
Celery Seed apium graveolens a seeds taste like fresh celery, does not come from regular celery but from cultivated "wild celery" soups, sauces, dressings D

 

Chervil anthriscus cerefolium a slight licorice flavor; salads, soups, fish dishes f, d
Chili Powder spice blend   a blend of dried ancho chile, oregano, cumin, and cloves or allspice; soups, salads, all meats, fish, vegetables, eggs, cheese, sauces d
Chives allium schoenoprasum bulb soups, salads, meats, fish, condiments, eggs, cheese, blossoms as a garnish f, d, freeze-dried
Chives, Garlic allium tuberosom bulb soups, salads, meats, fish, condiments, eggs, cheese, blossoms as a garnish, (stronger in flavor than regular chives) f, d
Cicely. Sweet myrrhis odorata p licorice taste, salads, liqueurs (use seeds and leaves), desserts f, d
Cilantro, Chinese Parsley, Fresh Coriander coriandrum sativum a soups, chutney, fish, chicken, used in curry, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Southwestern, and Oriental cooking f, d
Cinnamon cinnamomum cassia tree baking, stews, other spice blends, court bouillon, pickling, chutney, relishes (powdered or sticks), drinks (spiced cider) d
Clary salvia sclarea b type of sage, salads, fritters, beer, eggs, stuffing f, d
Clove eugenia caryophyllata tree baking, desserts, sauces, soups, stews, meats, court bouillon, pickles, spice blends, (unopened bud of the evergreen clove tree) d
Coriander coriandrum sativum a salads, sauces, fish dishes, chicken dishes, oriental, South western, Spanish and middle eastern cuisine f, d
Costmary chrysanthemum balsamita p teas; camphor, mint-like fragrance, poultry, baking f, d
Crocus, Saffron crocus sativus p soups, sauces, fish and chicken dishes d
Cumin cuminum cyminum a other spice blends, (dried seeds) d
Curry Powder spice blend   a blend of cloves, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, fenugreek, coriander, mace, white pepper d
Dandelion taraxacum officinale p salads, wine, cooked as a vegetable f
Dill anethum graveolens a salads, sauces, soups, pickles, dips, use with fish and vegetables f, d
Dill Seed anethum graveolens a use like dill leaves, the blossoms may be used as a garnish f, d
Fennel Flower nigella sativa a desserts, fritters, garnish f
Fennel Seeds foeniculum vulgare a sauces, sausage, pork roasts d
Fennel, Common foeniculum vulgare a soups, salads, sauces, (seeds are used most often, see above) f
Fennel, Italian foeniculum vulgare piperitum a salads f
Fennel, Sweet foeniculum vulgare dulce a seeds used in sauces, soups, pasta (cooked vegetable) d
Fenugreek trigonella foenumgraecum a member of the pea family, burnt sugar taste, used in spice blends, curry powder, pickling spice, chutney d
Filé sassafras tree powdered leaves used to thicken gumbo's d
Garlic allium sativum bulb used in everything except desserts f, d, frozen, pickled
Geraniums Rose pelargonium graveolens p desserts, jellies, oils (leaves have a rose-like aroma) leaves as a garnish f
Ginger zingiber officinale root baking, desserts, soups, salads, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish; just about everything f, d, preserved, powdered
Ginger, Wild asarum canadense root grows throughout the Northeast, not as flavorful as cultivated ginger, leaves are different as well f
Horehound marrubium vulgare p tea, candy, in beer makes horehound ale f, d
Horseradish armoracia apathifolia root sauces, salads, sandwiches, condiment f, d
Hyssop hyssopus officinalis p liqueurs, ice cream; tarragon/rosemary/mint-like flavor, fish, duck f
Juniper Berries juniperus communis tree flavoring of gin, sauces, stews, fish; particularly gravlax f, d
Lavender lavandula officinalis p soups, baking, vegetables, oils f, d
Leek allium porrum p soups, sauces, vegetables, roasts, fish, chicken, veal, beef f
Lemon Verbena lippia citriodora p tea, fruit salads, jelly f, d
Lovage levisticum officinale p used as a confectionery like angelica (root may be powdered) f, d
Mace myristica fragrans tree the outer web of the nutmeg berry, soups, sauces, stews, spice blends, desserts, vegetables d
Marigold, Pot calendula officinalis a leaves can be eaten in salads and flowers as a garnish, also edible. Adds a yellow color to cooked foods f, d
Marjoram, Pot majorana onites p fresh leaves in salads soups, sauces, dried in chicken and beef dishes, sometimes fish, eggs f, d
Marjoram, Sweet majorana hortensis p has a slightly sweeter aroma than the pot variety f, d
Mint, Apple mentha gentilis p sauces, teas, jellies, candies, drinks, f, d
Mint, Corsican mentha requieni p sauces, teas, jellies, candies, drinks, (a creeping mint, almost moss-like) f, d
Mint, Orange or Lemon mentha citrata p sauces, teas, jellies, candies, drinks, (a.k.a. Bergamot mint) f, d
Mint, Peppermint mentha piperita p sauces, teas, jellies, candies, drinks, f, d
Mint, Pineapple mentha variegata p sauces, teas, jellies, candies, drinks, f, d
Mint, Spearmint mentha spicata p sauces, teas, jellies, candies, drinks, f, d
MSG from glutamic acid   flavor enhancer powder
Mustard, Black brassica nigra a sauces, eggs, roasts, vegetables, pickles, (use seeds) f, d
Mustard, White brassica alba a leaves in soup, (use seeds) f, d
Nasturtium tropaeolum majus a watercress -like flavor, salads and leaves and blossoms as a garnish f
Nutmeg myristica fragrans tree desserts, spice blends, sauces, pasta, vegetables, potatoes, relishes, (use grated) d
Onion allium cepa bulb use in everything except desserts f, d, frozen
Orange Blossoms citrus sinensis tree flavors water then used in desserts and sauces, petals in salads, eggs and garnish f
Oregano origanum vulgare a soups, sauces, stews, roasts, meat, fish, pasta, breads, eggs (blossoms as a garnish) f, d
Paprika, Hot capsicum frutescens a soups, sauces, stews, meats, fish, vegetables d
Paprika, Sweet capsicum annuum a soups, sauces, stews, meats, fish, vegetables d
Parsley, Curly petroselinum crispum b salads, soups, stews all meats and fish f, d
Parsley, Italian petroselinum crispum neapolitanum b salads, soups, stews all meats and fish f
Pennyroyal mentha pulegium p teas, (peppermint-like scent) use caution as it may be poisonous to some people f
Pepper Flakes capsicum frutescens a soups, sauces, stews, meats, fish, vegetables, pasta, pizza d
Pepper, Black piper nigrum bush all foods except dessert, maybe black pepper ice cream d
Pepper, White piper nigrum bush all foods except dessert, maybe black pepper ice cream, (white pepper comes from the same berry with the outer coating of the berry removed) d
Poppy Seeds papaver somniferum p breads, pastry, desserts, vegetables d
Pot Marigold calendula officinalis a salads f
Pumpkin, Seeds cucurbitaceae a sauces, condiment, garnish, bread d
Rocambole allium scorodoprasum p soups, sauces, roasts, stews, all meats, fish, game f
Rocket eruca sativa a salads, fresh sauces f
Rose rosa p jams, jellies, desserts, tea as rose hip tea (petals as a garnish) rose water; chicken, eggs, sauces, game f, d
Rose Geranium pelargonium graeolens a teas, desserts f
Rosemary rosmarinus officinalis p roasts, stews, all meats, some fish, breads, sauces, oils f, d
Rue ruta graveolens p musty taste, use with caution as some people may be sensitive and develop a rash or blisters (used in tea sandwiches), soups, chicken, eggs, vegetables f
Sage salvia officinalis p most dishes, bread (fried as a garnish) f, d
Savory, Summer satureia hortensis a soups, meats, fish, cheese, eggs, sauces f, d
Savory, Winter satreia montana p soups, meats, fish, cheese, eggs, sauces f, d
Scallions allium cepa a use like onions or chives d
Sesame sesamum indicum a sauces, oil, desserts, baking, meats, fish, candy d
Sesame, Black sesamum nigrum a sauces, oil, desserts, baking, meats, fish, candy d
Shallot allium ascalonicum p use like onions, has a fuller richer flavor; pickles, sauces, condiments as additional use f, d
Sorrel rumex scutatus p sour lemon-like flavor use in salads, sauces; particularly good with fish f
Southernwood artemisia abrotanum p teas f
Sumac rhus coriaria tree salad dressing, marinades, sauces d
Tansy tanacetum vulgare p flowers as a garnish, yet may be poisonous to young children f
Tarragon artemisia dracunculus p salads, soups, sauces, desserts, fish, chicken, veal,, butters, vinegar; even tarragon ice cream f, d
Thyme, Common thymus vulgaris p soups, sauces, roasts, stews, meats, fish, vegetables, game f, d
Thyme, Lemon thymus citriodorus p soups, sauces, roasts, stews, meats, fish, vegetables, game, even lemon thyme jelly f, d
Thyme, Orange thymus fragrantissimus p soups, sauces, roasts, stews, meats, fish, vegetables, game f, d
Tumeric curcuma domestica root spice blends, sauces, dressings, pickles, fish, poultry, eggs (looks like ginger root) d
Vanilla vanilla planifolia bulb an orchid; baked goods, ice cream, candy, sauces , desserts, sometimes fish like lobster in vanilla sauce d, extract
Violet, Sweet viola odorata p salads, candy f
Watercress nasturtium officinale a salad, cooked as a vegetable, sauces, cheese, eggs f
Wintergreen gaultheria procumbens bush wintergreen oil, candies, gum, soft drinks; (birch beer) f, bark
Woodruff asperula odorata p used to flavor German May-wine and other drinks f, d
Wormwood artemisia absinthium p most famous as an ingredient of the liqueur absinthe f, d

Think of this---!

When you combine colors such as yellow and green you get you get blue, likewise it is bright, clean and well balanced. If you blend yellow, green, red, blue and black you get a gray purple mess. The resulting color is not pleasant to look at, it's not clean or well balanced. The same applies to seasoning foods with herbs and spices. Too many of the wrong combinations will produce a mixed bag of tastes. What was a perfect piece of fish becomes a disaster when incorrectly seasoned. '97

 Adapted from:

Adelma Grenier Simmons, Herb Gardening in Five Seasons, Middlesex, England, Penguin

Stendahl, Spicy Food, New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston

James Edmond O'Brien, Nature's Healing Herbs, Boca Raton, Globe

Craig Claiborne, An Herb and Spice Cookbook, New York, Harper and Row

Madhur Jaffrey, Spice Kitchen, London, Pavilion Books

Norman Taylor, Herbs in the Garden, New York, Toronto, London, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc.

M. Grieve Culinary Herbs and Condiments, New York, Dover Publications

John E. Brown & Coralie Castle, The Edible Ornamental Garden London, Pitman Publishing

Handbook on Herbs, New York, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record

Joy Larkcom, The Salad Garden, New York, Viking Press

Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, New York, Fawcett Publications, Inc.

rev. 10/12

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