Salad Herbs

fresh thyme
photo credit: gourmetsleuth

Salad Herb Chart

Herb Description Use With Notes
fresh basil Basil: Known as the "royal herb" by ancient Greeks. Basil is probably one of the most widely used herbs. From traditional Italian pesto sauce Thai dishes basil is found in many cuisines around the world. Basil can be purchased in most grocery stores. The common variety is green but there are many variations including purple
chervil Chervil: Another favorite of the Romans, chervil's use in the kitchen dates back to 15th century manuscripts. Chervil is a hardy annual plant that grows up to 2 feet tall and displays small white flowers. The plant is native to the Middle East and southern Russia. The plant is widely cultivated world-wide. Use with other herbs to accentuate flavor
chives Chives: A member of the onion family chives have long green rounded leaves that are snipped and used to flavor and decorate foods. The chive flowers can be used as well. We like to use them atop carrot leek soup. Fresh are superior to freeze dried but they will do in a pinch. Chives are easy to grow Chop fine and add to salads or salad dressings Works well for an attractive garnish
cilantro corriander leaves Coriander: This member of the carrot family is also referred to as Chinese Parsley and Coriander. It is actually the leaves (and stems) of the Coriander plant. Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The Cilantro leaves look a bit like flat Italian parsley and in fact are related. Add to Asian themed salads. Perfect for Chinese chicken salad.
watercress Watercress: A small dark green plant with round shaped leaves that imparts a peppery flavor to salads, sandwiches or garnishes. The watercress plant grows naturally along some streams but is grown hydroponically for commercial distribution.
Excellent pared with arugula and fresh fruit such as pears, apples.& Top with crumbled blue cheese and a light vinaigrette.
fresh dill Dill: An ancient herb that dates back to biblical times. A recipe that combines the popular cucumber with dill dates back to a recipe from 1640 by Joseph Cooper. The aromatic herb grows to 3ft tall with long feathery fronds and tiny yellow flowers. The flavor is that of a subtle anise. Goes well with sliced cucumbers.
fresh fennel Fennel: Also known as Sweet Anise or Fennel. Has a sweet, mild licorice flavor. The feathery fronds can be used as an herb, like dill weed, to flavor soups and stews. The broad bulbous base is treated like a vegetable
raw horseradish Horseradish: A root which is grated and used as a condiment.
anise hyssop> Hyssop: A member of the mint family, this perennial herb has a minty/bitter flavor. It is the flavoring used to make the liqueur Chartreuse. Use in salads (use sparingly)
lemon balm Lemon Balm: A bushy, lemon scented perennial used both fresh and dried to add lemon flavor to salads, soups, sauces, stuffings, poultry and fish dishes. It is also used in some desserts, cordials and liqueurs.
lovage Lovage: The lovage herb has been cultivated since the time of Pliny when it was used as both a digestive and culinary herb. The perennial plant grows up to 6ft high and has deep glossy leaves with a spicy even celery-like aroma. The plant most likely originated in Europe but is cultivated world-wide. Use young, small tender leaves for salad additions.
marjoram Marjoram: A relative of oregano used in Greek, Italian and Mediterranean cooking.
Add to sauces, soups, stews.
peppermint Mint: The most popular mints are spearmint and peppermint. Mint is frequently used in both Thai and Middle Eastern cooking.

Add to tabouli salad. Use in small amounts, can be overpowering.
flat leaf parsley Parsley: Italian or flat leafed parsley is used to flavor sauces and other dishes. It differs from the curly leafed variety in that it provides a more intense flavor. A popular addition to potato and pasta salads.
winter and summer savory Savory: There are two types of savory, summer and winter. Both winter and summer savory are members of the mint family. Winter savory tastes like a cross between mint and thyme. Use sparingly
chervil Sweet Cicely: See Chervil
thyme Thyme: With over 350 species available thyme is one of the most common and popular cooking herbs. The low-growing plants are grown world-wide and can be used fresh or dried. Thyme is a common herb for cooking with poultry as well as other meats.

Tips For Herb Use

  1. If you grow your own herbs snip from the plant right before use.  Otherwise for refrigerated herbs remove the portion you'll be using and return the rest to the refrigerator.
  2. Rinse herbs under cool water then shake off excess moisture.
  3. Spin herbs in a spin bag, salad spinner or on a layer of paper toweling.
  4. Herbs can now be snipped with kitchen shears, chopped or bruised in a mortar and pestle.

Grow Your Own

Most herbs are very easy to grow and are perfect container plants so you don't need a lot of garden space.  You can purchase window-sill boxes or plant in pots.  Container plants do require more frequent watering and feeding.  
Visit your local nursery to purchase small 4" in plants or if you prefer you can purchase seed and start your own.

Our favorite online herb seed source is Renee's Garden Seeds

 salad herbs in pots


Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.