Cooking With Herbs and Spices

Get the Most From Your Herb and Spice Collection

Ground spices release their flavour more quickly than whole spices.

Spices such as ground thyme or ground cumin can be used in recipes with short cooking times or can be added near the end of cooking for longer cooking recipes.

Whole spices need a longer time to release their flavour. They work well in longer cooking recipes likes soups and stews. Robust herbs such as sage, thyme, and bay leaves stand up well in long cooking while milder herbs like basil and parsley can be added at the last minute for best results.

Maximize the flavour in leafy herbs by rubbing them in the palm of your hand before setting them free into your pan. This releases all of the flavour and aroma.

To double a recipe, increase spices and herbs by one and one-half, Taste and then add more if necessary. In most recipes one and one-half times the seasoning should be enough to provide the desired flavour.

Spices such as fennel seed, cumin seed, sesame seed, and white peppercorns may be toasted to intensify their flavours. Simply add the spice to a dry, non-stick, heated skillet and heat until aromatic.

Whole spices and seeds may be best ground using a small electric coffee grinder or spice mill. A pepper mill or mortar and pestle may also be used.