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10 Herbs You’ve Never Heard Of

A dash of chervil, a pinch of marjoram—herbs add so much dimension to your cooking! Here's why it's worth thinking outside the window box.

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A common herb in French cuisine, chervil has a mild flavor but can make a subtle difference in a dish. This parsley relative reminds us of anise and has some of that licorice flavor. Use it to season fish, salads, soups or poultry.

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Along with chervil, parsley and chives, tarragon is one of the four herbs used for fines herbes, a staple of French cuisine. It finds its way into all sorts of recipes but we have to say, tarragon beautifully complements chicken.

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There’s nothing like freshly picked borage. The delicate blue and pink flowers are edible, and so are the leaves. Borage is excellent in salads! It tastes somewhat like cucumber, so pairing the two together in a simple borage and cucumber salad is a match made in heaven.

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Kaffir Lime Leaves

These unusual looking limes are a staple ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. Kaffir lime leaves crop up again and again in Thai and Vietnamese dishes, where they are valued for their aromatic scent. Use for a little extra lift in this Thai red curry chicken.

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A beautiful flower you may have seen in your favorite beauty products, calendula has a long history in traditional medicine. But it has many tasty applications in the kitchen, too! With an almost tropical flavor, calendula is terrific for adding a touch of sweet in savory dishes.

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Some folks claim that marjoram and oregano are one and the same—but that’s not the case! The two herbs are closely related, but marjoram is slightly sweeter. It’s delicious when dashed into whatever is bubbling on the stovetop or to make an amazing herbed pot roast.

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Chamomile is more than a calming herbal tea. You can use it to gently flavor a whole host of dishes, although it’s divine in desserts. Use it as a substitute for lavender when baking or try it in a batch of infused water.

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As its name suggests, this herb has a wonderful grassy, lemony aroma. Another essential in Southeast Asian cuisine, lemongrass is used for absolutely everything: marinades, soups, curries and more. Its citrus-herbal flavor makes it a natural choice for ramen.

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Though lavender is common in soaps and perfumes, it’s sorely underused as a culinary herb. Its lovely floral scent takes the likes of this lavender honey cheesecake to the next level. Sprinkle dried flowers in these cookies, cakes or quick breads for an incomparable flavor.

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Lemon Verbena

Chopped lemon verbena is perfect for adding a kiss of lemon to your favorite desserts; it also works when chopped fresh over meat and fish. It’s exactly what you need for seasoning meals with a whisper of citrus!

Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.