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Cooking With Herbs / Growing HerbsDrying Herbs / Storing Herbs

Herbs add great flavor to your dishes and also contain many nutrients. You can find the nutrient information for herbs at this link.

Cooking With Herbs

In most recipes you can very easily substitute fresh herbs for dry herbs by using about 3 times the amount. For 1 teaspoon of dry herbs, you can use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. When a recipe calls for a "sprig", you can use an herb branch about 4 inches long with its leaves. When using fresh herbs, remove the hard stems and chop up the leaves. Tender stems can be used along with the leaves.

You can also substitute dry herbs for fresh herbs, but that won't work in all recipes. Potato salad, for instance, tastes a lot better with fresh parsley than with dry and pesto really needs fresh basil.

Basil Pesto Sauce

Powdered Sage

Dry herbs should usually be added towards the beginning of the cooking time and fresh herbs near the end or even after the dish has finished cooking. In cold dishes, like potato or pasta salad, you should add the herbs right away, so their flavors can blend into the dish.

Have fun experimenting with herbs, but be careful not to put too much of them in a dish at once. Start with small amounts, especially when using strong herbs like sage, rosemary and cilantro. A safe amount to start out with for a meal serving four is 1/4 teaspoon of powdered herb or 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 1 tablespoon of fresh herb.

Herbs in Dishes

Following are some ideas of how to use certain herbs.

  • Anise: the leaves can be used in salads and soups. The seeds are nice for flavoring cookies, cakes or breads.
  • Basil: combines well with most vegetables. Is great in pasta sauce, stews, soups and for making pesto.
  • Bay leaves: great in soups.
  • Chervil: use the same as you would use parsley.
  • Chives: combines well with potatos and tomatos. Is great in dips, spreads, soups and salads.
  • Cilantro: good in Mexican or Asian dishes, dressings and salsas.
  • Dill: great on tomatos, potatos, carrots and green beans. Also good in soups, casseroles and sauces.


Dill Weed

  • Marjoram: great in veggie burgers and combines well with carrots, green beans, potatoes and spinach.
  • Mint: good on carrots, fruit salads, tabouli and in beverages like tea.
  • Oregano: combines well with tomatoes and peppers and is good in pasta sauces.
  • Parsley: good in potato salad, other salads, dressings, soups and tabouli.
  • Rosemary: good on roasted potatoes, in soups, stews and tomato dishes.
  • Sage: good in soups and salads.
  • Tarragon: good in vinaigrette dressings and sauces.
  • Thyme: good on potatoes, tomatoes, lima beans and summer squash. Nice in soups.

Herb Combinations

Some good herb combinations are:

  • Parsley, chervil, chives and tarragon: great in salads.
  • Basil, parsley and tarragon: another good combination for salads.
  • Thyme, oregano, rosemary and savory: great on pizzas and in stews
  • Basil, bay leaf, marjoram, oregano and parsley: nice in tomato sauce.
  • Basil, parsley and savory: good on vegetables.
  • Basil, dill and parsley: great for tofu scrambles.


Parsley Flakes

Herb Substitutions

Does your recipe call for a certain herb and you don't have it on hand? You can try substituting it with another herb. Some substitutions that work fairly well are:

  • Basil: oregano or thyme
  • Chervil: parsley or tarragon
  • Chive: onion, green onion or leek
  • Cilantro: parsley
  • Marjoram: basil, thyme or savory
  • Mint: basil, marjoram or rosemary
  • Oregano: thyme or basil
  • Parsley: chervil or cilantro
  • Rosemary: thyme, tarragon or savory
  • Sage: savory, marjoram or rosemary
  • Tarragon: chervil or a  dash of fennel seed or aniseed
  • Thyme: basil, marjoram, oregano or savory


The recipe of the Basil Pesto Sauce on the right is from the cookbook Incredibly Delicious by the Gentle World Staff. You can find this recipe and many others using herbs in the Recipe section.

If you are looking for a recipe with a certain type of herb, you can type that herb in the search box of the Recipe Search page.

Spaghetti with Basil Pesto Sauce,
Vegan Burger and Vegetables



Copyright© 2008 by Wanda Embar. All Rights Reserved.
All herb pictures by Wanda Embar, Vegan Peace.
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