Types of Herbs: Properties And Combination Options For Basil And Co

Not everyone has their own herbal dictionary. You don’t have to. For a start, our overview of the most important types of herbs and their properties is sufficient – possible combinations in pots and pans included.

Types of herbs from basil to thyme

Be it tomatoes, fried potatoes, or Indian curry: Many dishes only slowly feel their way towards perfection with the help of the right kitchen herbs. At the same time, the choice is large. There are so many different types that it’s easy to lose track. Our practical kitchen herb overview helps against this:

  • Basil: Pasta, pesto, and salads find the perfect accompaniment in the aromatic, spicy herb. Not only Italian cuisine, but also Southeast Asian recipes rely on basil, albeit on the Thai basil, which tends towards anise. You can buy the herb both as a bunch and in a pot. Either way, basil is delicate. In the pot, therefore, water it daily from below, place it in a bright place, but do not expose it to direct midday sun.
  • Thyme: Its spicy, slightly tart aroma is somewhat reminiscent of oregano, to which thyme is also related. Accordingly, the herb is popular in Mediterranean cuisine, although it also stylishly complements a strong red wine jus for the steak and is part of the Zatar spice mixture, which is popular for oriental dishes. Thyme is available all year round.
  • Coriander: If you’re cooking Indian, Mexican, or Asian, chances are the ingredient list calls for coriander. The intense aroma of the herb definitely shapes the character of the dish. Coriander tastes sour-fresh, a bit peppery, and is not compatible with every palate. Some perceive the taste as soapy, others love it. So just trying it helps.
  • Parsley: It is almost irreplaceable for soups, but is also excellent in dips, salsa, or, of course, in combination with potatoes. Parsley tastes spicy and has a slight sweetness that slightly turns bitter. You have to distinguish between the somewhat more restrained, smooth variety and the harsher, curly variety. One of the most popular kitchen herbs, parsley is available all year round.
  • Dill: The intensely sweet to tart dill goes particularly well with fish and cucumber. The herb also enhances dips if you add it after cooking to preserve the aroma. You can get regionally grown dill between May and September.
  • Oregano: Don’t just think about the pizza. Its tart spiciness also predestines oregano for tomato sauce, meat, fish, or vegetables such as zucchini and aubergines, which naturally taste less intense. On top of that, the fresh herb is relatively easy to care for.
  • Rosemary: A sprig or two in the sauce, when frying in the pan or in the roaster in the oven – rosemary likes to give off its intensive aroma during the cooking process. Even if you don’t chop it up. You can combine the herb with meat and fish as well as with vegetables. Fresh it tastes more intense and it can also be grown in a pot on the windowsill.
  • Sage: The butter foams, you add the velvety leaves, a little later tortellini, and the delicious pasta is already on the table. Sage is made for this with its mix of aromas of spiciness and bitterness. The herb, which is particularly popular in Mediterranean cuisine, also goes well with fish and meat. You can also grow sage in the pot yourself.

Combine different types of herbs: in the kitchen and in the pot

You probably know that not all herbs go together. In culinary terms, the basic rule is: If herbs taste similar, their flavors mix, and nothing stands out anymore. Of course, you want to avoid that.

  • Peppermint, on the other hand, tastes so intense that lemon balm or lovage, actually all types of herbs, go under.
  • Parsley, garlic, and chives, on the other hand, go well with other types of herbs.
  • Herb mixtures such as herbs de Provence or Fines Herbes offer another option. Rosemary, oregano, thyme, and marjoram are often used. Always in dried form.

You should keep this in mind when compiling your herb list for the next menu. Our experts have more tips for combining kitchen herbs. If you want to plant several types of herbs in a container on the balcony or windowsill, it is particularly important that the roots have enough space to ensure water supply. Some can even help each other. For example, lovage pulls parsley and fennel with it, while rosemary helps basil grow.

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