Essential Italian Herbs

Whether you grow your own, buy them from a local farmers market, or keep your spice rack fully stocked, herbs are an important part of your journey to becoming an authentic Italian cook.

Tomatoes

Basil

Adds a delicious hint of flavor to pesto, tomato sauces and soups. Sweet basil is the best known of the 12 varieties, and has a distinct fragrance. It has a sweet and slight licorice taste.

Marjoram

In the mint family, very similar to oregano, yet much more fragrant and sweet. A very common herb for meats and sauces, it can be used in any recipe that calls for oregano

Mint

Adds great flavor to pasta sauces as well as fish, lamb and soups.

Oregano

Offers a complementary flavor to basil, and is widely used in tomato-based dishes, with meat or fish, and in salads. It also provides a perfect complement to beans and eggplant, and in risottos.

Flat-leaf Italian Parsley

Much more flavorful than the curly variety used for garnishes, Italian parsley is used in soup stock and with vegetable dishes. It can also be used when marinating grilled meat or fish.

Rosemary

Makes a wonderful addition to roasted meats and vegetables, and is delicious with roasted potatoes. It can easily overpower your food, so use it sparingly.

Sage

Makes a perfect addition to stuffing for poultry, pork, veal, and lamb. It can also be added to salads and dressings.

Thyme

Has a pleasant mild flavor that goes well with almost everything. It is also very easy to grow.