ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cooking with Herbs and Spices

Updated on June 4, 2010

What Would Pesto Be without Basil?

Or salsa without cilantro? Think for a minute what our food would taste like, if we removed all herbs and spices. It would be pretty bland. Whether sweet or savory, herbs and spices are an integral part of our cooking. Imagine pumpkin pie without spices! No thanks.

Fresh vs Dried Herbs

Most herbs are available in fresh or dried form. Fresh herbs will give you a flavor that can not be matched by dried. Fresh herbs can be found in the supermarket or farmer's market and will last about 1 week. When you get them home cut off a little of the stem and keep them in a glass of water in your refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Basil should not be refrigerated.

I saw a good idea in a cookbook for keeping fresh herbs longer. After you have used some of the fresh herb for a recipe, chop the rest of it and distribute1 Tablespoon into each compartment in an ice cube tray. Pour water over the tray and freeze it. You can still use the herbs for cooking. Just add the herb ice cube to the pan.

When you don't have fresh herbs, you can substitute dried. Use only 1/3 the amount. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of fresh basil, use 1 teaspoon of dried basil.

Dried herbs will last about a year. When the fragrance is gone, throw them out.

When adding dried herbs and spices to a recipe, add it to the beginning of cooking. Dried herbs are more tolerant to heat. Fresh herbs should be added to the end of cooking and should be chopped to release the flavor.

Common herbs - Robust flavor

Bay Leaves - can be used with meats, soups and stews in moderation. Remove before serving.

Rosemary - delicious with pork or lamb, very fragrant.

Thyme - used in Italian cooking, great in pasta sauce and meat dishes

Sage - the flavor we recognize in our turkey stuffing, great with potatoes or pork, as well.

Chives - has an onion-like flavor, good in salads or dairy, like sour cream.

Oregano - goes well with poultry or tomato-based sauces. Dries well, too.

Leafy herbs

Leafy herbs are great in salads or cooking and include basil, cilantro, mint, tarragon and parsley.

Fragrant Herbs

Fragrant herbs include lime leaves, lemon balm and dill.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • judydianne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Thank you pjinter. Yes, it wouldn't be much, would it?

    • pjinter profile image


      8 years ago from Montreal

      Fantastic hub!

      What Would Pesto Be without Basil? LOL

    • judydianne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      I wish I had a sunny place to grow my own. My patio is too shady. I buy mine at the grocery store and also use dried.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Fresh herbs make all the difference in the much better than dried, although I have used dried in a pinch. But I grow my own on my deck, so they are available all through spring, summer and fall. Nice hub. Thanks


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)