Valérie Fernandez

By Valérie Fernandez

August 4, 2016


Flavour Guide – Herb and Spice Combinations

Article revised on 12 June 2017

Need a little inspiration in the kitchen? Tired of always making the same recipes? Sometimes, the addition of a few herbs and/or spices is all it takes to jazz things up and delight your taste buds and those of your guests.

It’s also an excellent way to enhance your recipes without necessarily reaching for the salt shaker (we can always do with a little less salt).

To initiate you into the art of blending flavours, we’ve prepared a few winning herb and spice combinations:

• Rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic
• Oregano, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaf, thyme
• Cumin, lime, coriander (cilantro), chili powder, garlic, paprika
• Ginger, coriander seed, white pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, allspice
• Curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander seed, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom
• Paprika, garlic, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, thyme
• Dill, onion powder, lemon zest, black pepper
• Cloves, ginger, star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper
• Parsley, coriander (cilantro), basil, mint, garlic, black pepper

Fresh or dried? Whole or ground?

As far as herbs are concerned, it’s mainly a matter of taste. In certain preparations, such as pesto or tabouli, we like to use a generous quantity of fresh herbs.

That said, in most recipes, you can substitute 15 ml (1 tbsp) of fresh herbs with 2 – 5 ml (½ -1 tsp) of dried herbs, since the essential oils responsible for flavour are more concentrated.

Regarding spices, it is better to purchase them whole and grind them yourself (with a mortar and pestle or a spice mill). If you only grind the amount you need, your spices will keep longer.

How can you tell if your dried herbs and spices are still good?

If your dried herbs and spices no longer have any aroma, you can go ahead and toss them. Not because they have become toxic but because they have lost their flavour.


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