Ciao a tutti!
What are some traditional Italian herbs you can use in your dishes? In Italy, there are certain herbs that are traditionally “Italian” meaning that they are used most frequently. Regions do change and in northern Italy you will find more delicate flavors, less spicy and sometimes even bland, depending on your taste buds. Farther south you will find spicier foods, although many of the herbs used in Italy remain the same throughout.
Among the most common Italian herbs are:
oregano origano Origano can be often found on the top of bruschetta, in many soups or even salads and commonly on oven-cooked or marinated foods, such as marinated eggplant.
basil basilico Basilico is found everywhere in Italy. Thought to ward of depression and help to improve mood in general, basilico is used fresh in many sauces, such as tomato sauce for pasta. It is best when cooked all the way down, since it really adds a nice flavor or you can try it fresh in a salad. It is also the base for pesto sauce, which can be made very easily just by mashing fresh basil with some salt, olive oil and pine nuts!
thyme timo Timo is used frequently in soups. It adds a wonderful aroma and can easily be bought at any grocery store in the dried variety. Or you can plant a small herb garden of your own! It is relatively easy to grow in the house, as the plant will not grow out of control.
sage salvia Salvia is an excellent addition to a very simple pasta dish commonly found in northern regions of Italy. You just add a bit of salt, olive oil and fresh sage to any pasta for a very delicious, refreshing and light pasta dish! Sage also helps to freshen the breath, so as long as there was no heavy garlic used anywhere, you should be OK!
parsley prezzemolo Prezzemolo grows everywhere and is one of the easiest herbs to grow. It can be quite large and grows quickly. Parsley can be used in sauces and can be substituted for basil in pesto sauces.
marjoram maggiorana This can be a great addition to vegetables like sauteed carrots or zucchini. It also adds excellent flavor to soups and oven-baked dishes. It can be challenging to grow sometimes, but the wait will be worth it! It is also used by some homeopaths to cure headaches.