Some herbs commonly used for cooking include basil, cilantro, parsley and oregano. Dill and thyme are two other herbs that are particularly good when used fresh.
Basil is an herb that has a floral anise and clove-like flavor. Sweet basil is commonly used to make pesto and is used in tomato sauce in Western cuisine. It pairs well with mozzarella cheese.
Cilantro, or coriander, has what some describe as a soapy flavor. It often appears in Latin and Asian cooking and pairs well with seafood and poultry.
Parsley is a peppery-flavored herb common in Western cooking. It not only adds a fresh green color to a range of dishes, it also works well in soups and salads, with cooked vegetables, or in Mediterranean dishes.
Mediterranean and Mexican dishes are not the same without oregano. Often found as a dried herb as opposed to fresh, oregano is pungent and is often used in place of its cousin, marjoram.
Dill has an anise flavor that pairs well with sauces, seafood, salad and soups. It often appears in European and Middle Eastern foods.
Thyme is a popular American and European herb that goes well with many meats, vegetables, fish and poultry. Many potato and chicken recipes call for the use of thyme.