Many restaurant patrons prefer and expect fresh, wholesome ingredients these days. Along with using local produce, many restaurateurs incorporate fresh herbs to infuse dishes with as much flavor as possible. The following are some ideas for elevating your restaurant's favorite menu items with the season's freshest herbs.  

Types of Herbs

local produce

Parsely is extremely popular, which is due in no small part to its versatility. It imparts a bright, peppery taste to so many recipes, including savory soups and sauces. It's particularly effective in fish dishes, as its bright flavor offsets lemon when serving salmon preparations. 

Cilantro is a star of Latin American cooking, but it is also featured in numerous Asian dishes. It has a tangy, citrus flavor that is excellent in chimichurri sauce for steaks or with fresh salsa and guacamole. 

Fresh mint imparts coolness to summertime drinks and desserts, while basil adds depth to pasta sauces and chicken recipes. Restaurants should stock these fresh herbs, along with thyme, rosemary, and dill, for a well-rounded flavor profile. 

How to Cook With Fresh Herbs

Fill a small bowl with cold water and dip herbs inside to wash them. Gently pat them with a paper towel to remove excess water, then get your sharpest knife to chop them up. You can also use a food processor if you're preparing herbs to be included in many dishes. In either case, get them as finely chopped as possible to impart the most flavor. 

When to add herbs depends on what you're using. Potent flavors, such as rosemary, should be added early so they can simmer, imparting big, bold flavors. Conversely, cilantro and parsley can be added raw at the end of cooking for a surprising pop of flavor. When using a new herb, it's best to taste the dish as you cook to ensure the flavor isn't overwhelming.


If you'd like a reliable supply of fresh herbs to take your dishes to the next level, contact Ole Tyme Produce Inc. in Saint Charles, MO. Backed by over five decades of experience, this supplier proudly provides restaurants, cafes, and eateries with fresh herbs, local produce and eggs, and meat. They have strong relationships with area growers to ensure you have an unbelievable selection. They also provide many other products, including juices, dried fruits, pickled vegetables, vinegar, and spices. Visit them online to browse the entire selection, or call (314) 436-4288 to speak with a friendly associate.