Herbs and spices are important ingredients that give Mediterranean dishes their distinct identity. For seasoning or adding flavor to Mediterranean diet dishes, different herbs and spices are used.

Some examples of herb and spice used are basil, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, anise, cumin seeds, etc. Parsley, for example, is usually used to set off the strong flavor of red meat, therefore always associated with red meat dishes and stew. 

Below are common herbs and spices that are usually found in Mediterranean diet recipes:


basilbasil-pestoBasil (a.k.a. Sweet Basil or 九层塔): Usually used fresh in cooking, can be added to soup. A main ingredient in Italian pesto, a green oil-herb sauce. Example: Basil pesto


beef-stewBay Leaf (a.k.a. 月桂叶): Both fresh and dried leaves are used to add flavor and fragrance to soups, stews, braises in Mediterranean cuisine. Example: Beef stew with bay leaf


roasted-rack-of-lambRosemary (a.k.a. 迷迭香): Have bitter and astringent taste and highly aromatic. Both fresh or dried leaves are usually used as flavoring to foods such as stuffing, roasted meats and roasted poultry. Example: Roasted rack of lamb with rosemary

italian-flat-leaf-parsleyboiled-potato-with-parsleyParsley (a.k.a. 巴西利/香芹): Italian parsley (flat-leaf) has stronger flavor than curly-leaf variety. Freshly chopped parsley is usually used as garnish for soups, dishes and stews, it is a main ingredient for Middle Eastern salads. Example: Boiled potatoes with parsley

lavender-crusted-rack-of-lamblavenderLavender (a.k.a. 薰衣草): Culinary lavender can be used fresh or dried to add flavor and color to dishes. Example: Lavender crusted rack of lamb


marinated-pork-chop-with-marjoramfresh-and-dryed-majoramSweet Marjoram (a.k.a. 墨角兰): Both fresh and dried leaves can be used for marinating, making sauce and salad dressing as well as add flavor to soups. Dried leaves are usually added in herb combinations, e.g. herbes de Provence and Za’atar. Example: Marjoram marinated pork chop


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  1. What are the Common Foods in Mediterranean Diet? - [...] it is not advisable to consume too much. The best choice is unsalted or unflavored nuts. Herbs and spices …

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