Don’t Stop Be-leafing: Our Favorite Fresh Herbs

Herbs are the secret weapon of the culinary world. Despite their small size, herbs pack a level of flavor that hits harder than Muhammed Ali. Whether you’re looking to unify a flavor profile or simply want to add something unexpected, consider using these herbs.

Basil

Cooking with basil is one of our favorite ways to pump up savory dishes, but the little herb is also a surprisingly good partner in sweet dishes. When you factor in unique varieties like lemon basil and cinnamon basil, it becomes an essential tool for your kitchen. 

  • Peak Season: June-September
  • Pair With: Chicken, strawberries, tomatoes

Chives

Although technically a member of the allium family, (which includes onions, garlic, and shallots) chives are often treated like an herb in culinary circles. This is due to their ability to bring a greater depth of flavor to dishes without taking a starring role. Consider moving beyond baked potatoes and adding chives to omelettes or fish dishes!

  • Peak Season: March-July
  • Pair With: Salmon, cheese, eggs

Mint

Mint is one of the most recognizable flavors the world has to offer. While it’s true that the flavor varies between varieties, you can expect cooling flavors and a wonderful sweetness. Whether you’re into desserts or cocktails, mint has your back. 

  • Peak Season: June-September
  • Pair With: Chocolate, lime, lemon

Cilantro

We love cilantro because of its versatility. The tart, citrusy leaves quickly boost up the aromatics of your dish and pair well with a ton of different ingredients. After all, would you expect anything else from the most commonly used herb in the world?

  • Peak Season: Year-round
  • Pair With: Chili peppers, avocado, beef

Thyme

Surprising no one, this minty, citrusy herb is a member of the mint family. Unlike its prominent parent, thyme has a gentle earthiness that helps tamper down its sweeter notes. Interestingly enough, thyme is a great substitution for rosemary, but not vice versa; the bitterness of rosemary makes it a much more assertive pick. 

  • Peak Season: Year-round
  • Pair With: Turkey, mushrooms, herbs

Parsley

When it comes to savory dishes, adding parsley is rarely a bad idea. If used sparingly, parsley’s gentle bitterness can bring unison into soups, pastas, and steak dishes. When it comes to varieties, we’d recommend using flat leaf parsley over curly leaf parsley because the former has a more full-bodied flavor. 

  • Peak Season: Year-round
  • Pair With: Steak, fennel, pasta

Sage

Are you ready for some sage wisdom? The intense herb is an excellent choice for economical chefs because its flavor gets more intense as the herb grows, meaning that you can use tiny bits of sage to great effect. Unlike other herbs on this list, sage has a pungent pine-like aroma, so make sure to use it sparingly to avoid choking out other flavors in your dish. 

  • Peak Season: June-November
  • Pair With: Pesto, tomato, pineapple