How to choose the right herbs every time

    How to cook with fresh herbs Easy Food

    Choose the perfect herbs to complement any dish with our easy guide.


    Flavour profile: Minty and slightly peppery with a hint of sweetness
    Pair with: Cheeses, tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, stone fruits, lemons, balasamic vinegar, olive oil, strawberries, garlic, mushrooms
    Use in: Basil pesto, pasta sauces, Italian salads and sandwiches, pizzas, Thai curries and stir-fries
    Quick tip: Add the fresh leaves at the end of cooking for maximum flavour, tearing them gently with your hands to avoid bruising.

    Make your own pesto Easy Food
    Here’s how to make your own fresh basil pesto
    Bay leaves 

    Flavour profile: Woody, vaguely minty and pine-like
    Pair with: Beef, chicken, lamb, tomatoes, cabbage, Cajun cuisine, Mediterranean dishes
    Use in: Slow-cooked dishes, especially chillies, braises, curries, soups, sauces and stews; also marinades, stocks, rice dishes, pickling brines
    Quick tip: Fresh bay is more difficult to find, but dried bay leaves can be found in the spice aisle of your supermarket. Always remove dried bay leaves before serving or eating your dish. 


    Flavour profile: Mild onion flavour
    Pair with: Eggs, fish, chicken, cheeses, cream, potatoes, onions, leeks, asparagus
    Use in: Cream-based sauces and dips, omelettes, quiches, risottos or as a garnish
    Quick tip: Use a scissors to snip the chives instead of cutting with a knife

    Chive Dutch baby with Annagassan smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche | Easy Food
    This chive Dutch baby makes a stunning brunch or lunch option

    Flavour profile: Bright, fresh and citrusy
    Pair with: Eggs, cheeses, cream, chicken, beef, mint, potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, ginger, garlic, chillies, lentils
    Use in: Mexican dishes and sides like salsa and guacamole; Thai curries and salads, Indian chutneys, Vietnamese pho
    Quick tip: Coriander is the most divisive herb, due to a specific genetic mutation that means it tastes like soap for some people. If you’re cooking for others, it’s best to double-check if they eat coriander before adding it!

    Thai-style lamb salad with mint and coriander
    This flavoursome Thai salad combined fresh coriander and mint

    Flavour profile: Mild, clean and grassy
    Pair with: Fish, shellfish, chicken, cucumbers, pickled vegetables, cabbage, potatoes, beetroot, sour cream, plain yoghurt, cream cheese, butter
    Use in: Creamy sauces, pickles, chicken soups, fish pies, salad dressings, omelettes, borscht, tzatziki, potato salad
    Quick tip: A small amount of dill can go a long way, which is why it works so well as a garnish. Even a small sprig of dill can add a noticeable aroma to a dish.

    Smoked salmon spaghetti Easy Food
    Try using dill to make a fresh pesto, ideal for fish dishes like this one!

    Flavour profile: Grassy, lemony, slightly sweet
    Pair with: Chicken, beef, carrots, peas, mushrooms, courgettes, tomatoes
    Use in: Stuffings, soups, stews, risottos, brown butter, tomato sauces, vinaigrettes
    Quick tip: Marjoram is also said to help alleviate stomach pain, insomnia and a lack of appetite.


    Flavour profile: Cool, refreshing and sweet
    Pair with: Lamb, chicken, chillies, citrus fruits, chocolate, coriander, watermelon, beans, lentils
    Use in: Thai salads and curries, tabbouleh, cocktails like mojitos and mint juleps, mint sauce, fruit salads, marinades
    Quick tip: Mint is good for soothing nausea and digestive issues.

    Minted dark chocolate tart
    This minted dark chocolate tart makes a show-stopping dessert

    Flavour profile: Pungent, peppery and slightly lemony
    Pair with: Chicken, beef, lamb, fish, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, aubergines, mushrooms, artichokes, cheeses
    Use in: Tomato sauces for pizzas and pastas, pasta bakes, bread doughs, marinades, vinaigrettes, rice dishes
    Quick tip: Unlike most other herbs, fresh oregano is considerably more pungent than  dried, so be sure to take this into account when adding it to your dishes.


    Flavour profile: Fresh, grassy
    Pair with: Chicken, ham, beef, lamb, fish, eggs, peas, potatoes, tofu, cucumbers, courgettes, cream, mustard
    Use in: Classic parsley sauce, tabbouleh, sauces, salads, pasta dishes, omelettes, frittatas, quiches, stuffings, pestos, chimichurri, garnishes
    Quick tip: Generally speaking, flat-leaf parsley has a stronger flavour than the curly variety.

    Bacon and cabbage Easy Food
    You just can’t beat a good parsley sauce.

    Flavour profile: Woody, pungent, pine-like, faintly lemony
    Pair with: Pork, lamb, beef, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, peas
    Use in: Homemade focaccia, roasted or mashed potatoes, salad dressings, infused oils, roasted vegetables, tomato sauces, roast chicken
    Quick tip: The woody stems are fine for using whole sprigs to infuse flavour into soups, stews and sauces, but if you’re using chopped rosemary, then strip the needles from the stems before chopping and adding to recipes.

    Rosemary lamb chops with carrot and parsnip mash Easy Food
    These herby lamb chops make a delicious spring dinner.

    Flavour profile: Woody, slightly peppery
    Pair with: Pork, sausage, cheeses, chicken, duck, cream, butter, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, onions, beans, potatoes, root vegetables
    Use in: Stuffings, creamy sauces, pasta dishes, risottos, brown butter sauces
    Quick tip: Unlike more delicate herbs, sage can be added early in the cooking process.

    Roast Chicken Squash sage and Barley Easy Food
    This roast chicken with squash, sage and barley is the ultimate autumn comfort food

    Flavour profile: Peppery, aniseed, slightly sweet
    Pair with: Chicken, eggs, fish, beef, lamb, artichokes, leeks, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, root vegetables, mustard
    Use in: Salad dressings, creamy sauces, classic Béarnaise sauce, roasted chicken dishes, omelettes, gazpachos
    Quick tip: Plenty of fresh tarragon left over after that one recipe? Chop it up and add to an empty ice cube tray. Cover in water, cooled stock or olive oil and freeze — you can add the cubes directly to future dishes.

    Roasted pork chops easy food
    Tarragon and mustard combine in this to-die-for creamy sauce over roasted pork chops

    Flavour profile: Lemony, peppery, slightly minty
    Pair with: Chicken, pork, lamb, duck, fish, potatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, butternut squash, tomatoes, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, stone fruits
    Use in: Stuffings, stews, roast meats, sauces, mashed potatoes, marinades
    Quick tip: Run the back of a knife along the stems (the opposite direction of growth) to remove the leaves with ease.

    Chicken with thyme, goat's cheese, and bacon Easy Food
    You’ll adore the combination of flavours in this chicken with thyme, bacon and goat’s cheese