Ten Must-Have Herb And SeasoningsTen Must-Have Herb And Seasonings

With the sheer number of seasonings out there, people are intimidated and confused as to what herb goes with what food. The following is a list of ten indispensable herbs and seasonings beyond the usual salt and pepper.

#1-Basil: One of the staples in pasta sauces and pesto. Also good for salads, this herb is best used fresh. Many cooks keep a potted basil plant in their kitchen for ease of access and freshness.

#2-Thyme: Commonly used as an ingredient in meat rubs, it also works well in soups, stews, and casseroles. A small amount goes a long way, so mind the quantities when using this potent herb.

#3-Rosemary: Its fragrance is its strong point. Also strong, use this with caution as it could easily overpower any dish. It is best used for removing the gamey taste of lamb and is perfect for potato dishes.

#4-Garlic: You should never be without this in your kitchen. No matter how you see it, garlic can add so much character to the simplest of dishes. Available as a paste and in granule form, it is still best when used raw.

#5-Oregano: Its numerous uses in soups, pasta sauces, vegetable dishes, pizzas, and roasts says a lot about this herb's versatility. You can be bold with experimenting with this and not be afraid of ruining anything as long as you don't go nuts. Its aroma can give life to ordinary dishes.

#6-Red Pepper: If you like your food hot and spicy, you need not look any further. Red peppers not only add heat, used correctly, they can intensify the taste of many dishes. Mexican dishes and chillies are the perfect grounds for honing your cooking skills with this wonderful spice. Just put in a little at first. You can always add more later.

#7-Dill: This imparts a subtle grassy essence to your dish. Try to use it in egg dishes, light soups, garden salads, and sandwiches to make full use of its flavor. Light dishes benefit best from this herb. Remember to add this in the end of the cooking process as intense heat destroys it.

#8-Sage: It works well with chicken, pork and lamb dishes - even when combined with other herbs. Also great with potatoes and other vegetables. Lastly, mild cheeses will get a kick from it.

#9-Chives: Most commonly used in potato and egg dishes, it most closely resembles onions in flavor. Its color also makes it a great functional garnish.

#10-Mint: Not just for chocolates, this versatile herb can be used for vegetable dishes - it's perfect for peas. It can also be used along with fruits and the usual confectionery treat.

That's the list! Ten herbs and spices that no self-respecting cook should be caught without. There are still a lot of other, more exotic varieties but for those just venturing out into serious cooking, these are the foundations that you should build on. Don't worry too much on mixing different combinations and experimenting with different flavors - it's part of the learning process. Go ahead, visit your favorite supermarket's spice section today. Enjoy!
by Michelle Ann Gelder
References and Bibliography
Michelle adores just spending free time in the kitchen attempting innovative recipes with the help of her crock pot recipes. 1 of her all time winter season favorites is without question beef slow cooker recipes.
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