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A variety of herbs and spices shown on spoons

Herbs & Spices – What Goes With What Food

For the less adventuresome, the table below suggests individual seasonings for a variety of foods.  You will need to experiment to see which appeal to you and your family.

Food Seasoning


Bay leaf, cayenne, chili, curry, dill, ginger, mustard, paprika, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme.


Allspice, basil, cardamom, cloves, curry, ginger, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.


Basil, cardamom, curry, dill, mace, marjoram, mint, oregano, paprika, rosemary, turmeric.


Allspice, anise, bay leaf, cayenne, curry, dill, ginger, marjoram, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme.


Allspice, anise, basil, bay leaf, cayenne, chives, curry, dill, fennel, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, tarragon, thyme.


Allspice, anise, cinnamon, cloves, curry, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, pepper.


Green Beans -- Dill, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano.Beets -- Allspice, nutmeg.

Broccoli -- Mustard, nutmeg, sage.

Carrots  -- Dill, nutmeg, parsley, rosemary, thyme.

Cucumbers -- Basil, dill, parsley.

Eggplant -- Oregano, parsley.

Mushrooms -- Garlic, sage.

Peas -- Marjoram, mint.

Potatoes --Chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, mace, rosemary, tarragon.

Squash -- Cardamom, ginger, nutmeg.

Tomato -- Allspice, basil, cloves, cumin, fennel, marjoram, oregano.


Chives, cumin, curry, nutmeg, parsley, saffron, turmeric


Herbal Combinations

Herbs can be combined for specific foods. Having premixed combinations on hand speeds cooking and helps assure consistent quality. Some combinations have special names. They can be added directly to the food or wrapped in cheesecloth and removed before serving. The following are suggested herb blends. (Assume equal parts unless specified.)

Food/Term Seasoning Blend


Basil, dill weed (leaves), garlic, parsley.


Basil, bay leaf (crumbled), French tarragon, lemon thyme, parsley (options:  fennel, sage, savory).


Lovage, 2 parts marjoram, 3 parts sage.


Basil, lovage, parsley, French tarragon.

Tomato Sauce

2 parts basil, bay leaf, marjoram, oregano, parsley (options: celery leaves, cloves).


Basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.


Cumin, garlic, hot pepper, oregano.

Fine herbs

Parsley, chervil, chives, French tarragon (sometimes contains   a small amount of basil, fennel, oregano, sage or saffron).

Bouquet garnish

Bay leaf, 2 parts parsley, thyme.  The herbs may be wrapped in cheesecloth or the parsley wrapped around the thyme and bay leaf.

Herb butter

One stick unsalted butter or margarine; 1 to 3 tablespoons dried herbs or 2 to 6 tablespoons fresh herbs (any herb or spice may be used); 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice; and white pepper.  Combine ingredients and mix until fluffy.  Pack in covered container and let set at least one hour.


Heat 1 quart vinegar in an enamel pan, pour it into a vinegar bottle, and add one or several herbs (4 oz. fresh marjoram, sage, tarragon or thyme).  Do not let the vinegar boil.  Refrigerate for two weeks before using.  Any type of vinegar may be used, depending on personal preference.

Sue Snider, Ph.D.
Professor/Food Safety & Nutrition Specialist

UD Cooperative Extension

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Cooperative Extension is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.