The Magic of Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are an integral part of Italian cooking and we use a wide variety year round in all of our dishes. They can magically flavor up recipes without using loads of salt and butter. Herbs have their own distinctive flavors ranging from earthy to lemon, and when used fresh require much less than when using dried.

With the warmer weather you may want to create your own herb pot or garden and experiment on your own. Below are some of our favorites with their Italian names, descriptions and uses.

Fresh Basil at Alpine Bakery & TrattoriaBasil (Basilico)

The best known herb and used in pesto, sauces and pizza. Perfect paired with tomatoes- fresh or in sauce. It has a strong anise flavor – Minty and slightly peppery, with a touch of sweetness. Since the leaves are easily bruised, try using fresh basil whole or tearing it gently with your hands. We do!

Bay Leaf (Alloro)

Bay Leaf is most commonly used dried, but it’s increasingly available fresh as well. Great for imparting a gentle aroma in to soups and sauces.

Marjoram (Maggiorana)

Similar to oregano but milder in flavor. It’s Grassy, lemony and slightly sweet. A great compliment for meats and seafood.

Mint. Fresh mint on a table closeupMint (Menta)

There are hundreds of varieties. Some are mild and sweet; others spicy and hot. Mint is used more in southern Italy and is similar to basil in its ability to bring freshness and brightness to a dish. Refreshing, cool

Oregano (Origano)

Characterized by a very strong aroma and flavor; and commonly used with tomatoes.

Parsley (Prezzemolo)

Flat leafed (stronger in flavor) or curly leafed (somewhat milder) are true staples in Italian cooking. Parsley is probably the most widely used. Parsley, garlic and onions cooked in olive oil form the flavor base for many dishes.

Rosemary (Rosmarino)

Possessing a strong pine aroma and lemony flavor, a little rosemary goes a long way. The needles are tough and need time to soften, so slowly cooked is a must. Perfect with potatoes, chicken, lamb, and beef.

Sage (Salvia)

At once musty and minty, sage is a pungent herb terrific with chicken, pork as well as any sauce with brown butter. Most popular in Tuscany and other parts of central and northern Italy.

Thyme (Timo)

Several different varieties exist but most have pack a strong lemony flavor.

Come in and taste the wide variety of fresh herbs we use to create our incredible plates. We add herbs for flavor, aroma and color. Taste the Herbs. Taste the Love.