Culinary use typically distinguishes between herbs, the leafy green parts of the plant, and spices, all the other parts of the plant, including seeds, berries, bark, root, fruit, and even occasionally leaves. Culinary herbs are distinguished from vegetables in that they are used in small amounts and provide flavor (similar to spices) rather than substance to food.
Basil has a floral anise- and clove-like flavor and aroma. Sweet basil pairs naturally with tomatoes, but it can be used with almost every type of meat or seafood. Asian basil has a more distinct anise flavor and is often used in soups, stews, stir fries and curry pastes.
One of the most common and versatile herbs used in Western cooking, parsley has a light peppery flavor that complements other seasonings. It's most often used in sauces, salads and sprinkled over dishes at the end of cooking for a flash of green and a fresh taste.
Cilantro, also called coriander, has a flavor that some people find "soapy," but it's still one of the world's most popular spices. Many people are addicted to its bright refreshing flavor, and it's a staple of Latin and Asian cookingFresh mint is perfect for summer-fresh salads, to liven up a sauce and or to brew fragrant teas.
A tough, woody herb with a pungent flavor, rosemary's spiky leaves can be used fresh or dried for long cooking in soups, meats, stews or sauces.One of the most popular herbs in American and European cooking, thyme can be paired with nearly any kind of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable.
Most people use dried sage once a year for their Thanksgiving stuffing, but there are many other delicious uses for this herb, particularly in dishes with pork, beans, potatoes, cheese, or in the classic sage and brown butter sauce.The feathery leaves, or fronds, of the dill plant add a pleasant anise-like flavor to seafood, soups, salads and sauces. Its subtle taste makes a good compliment to foods with delicate flavors like fish and shellfish. I most commonly use dill when canning pickles.
Oregano, a pungent herb primarily found in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines.