11 herbs that turn ordinary dishes into gourmet meals

Fresh or dried a little bit of this, and a little bit of that will add a welcome flavour burst to a range of meals.
Michelle Grogan


Perfect to add flavour to tomato and lemon-based dishes, great for pasta and mince meals. Essential for a good pesto. Try it in Roasted Tomato Bruschetta or Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


Chives have a mild onion taste and are best added in the final stages of cooking. For extra zip, use as a garnish or add to salads, mayonnaise and dressings.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


Pungent and aromatic, coriander is the essential ingredient in Thai-style curry paste and Asian dishes. Popular in salads, and in fresh spring rolls.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


With feathery leaves and a strong flavour, dill is used for pickled gherkins and works well with seafood and potatoes it’s a tasty addition to Potato, Rocket & Dill Salad.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


With lots of varieties, mint is great for drinks, salads and recipes containing tomato, carrot and potato. It’s freshness is great with couscous, grains and chicken. Try this Grilled Lemon Chicken with Minty Couscous.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


Available all year round and used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine. Oregano goes well with eggplant, zucchini, tomato pasta sauce and stuffings.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


A great all-round herb, used in soups, casseroles, salads and fish dishes. Freeze fresh leaves and crumble directly into soups and egg dishes. Choose curly or Italian flat-leaf parsley. Perfect addition to egg dishes, try our Camembert & Chargrilled Vegetable Quiches. Fresh parsley is the main ingredient in Tabouli salad

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


Perfect with lamb, it has a warm savoury flavour and can be used in scones, breads and focaccia. Use dried when fresh is not available. Fresh can be frozen in snap-lock bags.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


A strong, pungent herb. Use in pies and stuffing’s and with roasted veal, beef and chicken. Commonly fried and served as a garnish.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


With a strong pleasant aroma, thyme has a small greyish-green leaves. It goes well in soups, stews, and casseroles. Add to chicken dishes and to roast vegetables.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)


Peppery in flavour, watercress is lovely added to salads. Pick over the leaves and pick the smallest leaves, discarding any that are pale or discoloured. Refresh in iced water if wilted. Try it in Warm Salmon & Soba Noodle Salad.

(Credit: Joe Filshie)

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