Do you know which herb substitutes to use in an emergency?
We’ve all been there when suddenly we realize that the herb we thought we had on the shelf isn’t there!
We are following a recipe, it’s calling for that particular herb!
What to do?
Don’t panic, there are solutions.
With food, there are always solutions.
So which herb substitutes can you use in the foods you are making while staying as close to the original flavor as possible?
The main thing is not to worry, and with the help of this post, hopefully you can learn what are the best ways to find alternatives to your herb ingredients.
How can your herb garden come to the rescue in a time of need?
What are good herb substitutes?
Let’s take a look at some specific herbs.
Even though basil originated in India, it is widely used in countries around the Mediterranean.
Even though dried basil remains sweeter and more herbal than the other two, they can be exchanged quite adequately.
In fact they are often found together in Italian seasoning.
Thyme is not particularly aromatic, but has a very well rounded flavor that when used correctly with complementary herbs allows for a robust taste.
Savory is an herb that is described as being full in flavor and therefore a good substitute for sage.
Sage is described as sweet and somewhat bitter, with lemon and eucalyptus notes making it also a full flavored herb.
Oregano tastes a bit woodsy, and has an earthy flavor, making it a bit bolder than the taste of basil, but the sweetness is strong enough that you can taste the herbalism in a dish that can help mimic the herbal flavor of oregano.
Thyme can complement other herbs to give a well rounded taste you can get from oregano.
Chevil is from the carrot family which is related to parsley, and therefore a good substitute for parsley.
SWAP FOR: Tarragon
Both these herbs have a bittersweet characteristic, with a mild taste of anise seed to them which allows for a seamless substitution.
SWAP FOR: Parsley
SWAP FOR: ¼ tsp Dried Thyme
Bay leaf is very pungent, bitter and sharp flavor when eaten whole.
Once dried, bay leaf can taste very much like dried thyme.
Instead of being overpowering, it gently flavors any dish when substituting dried thyme.
SWAP FOR: Scallions or Leek
Chives are related to leaks, garlic, and onions.
With a very gentle onion flavor along with a hint of garlic, chives are distinctive, but definitely oniony.
Scallions or leeks with the understated taste of onion are a perfect match.
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I hope that was helpful and that you found the herb substitutes you were looking for.
Do you have any suggestions?
I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!