Image: Flickr, gieshaboy500, Creative Commons 2.0

While you’re busy whipping up delicious summer fruit recipes, don’t overlook your leafy friends from the window box planter—your fresh herbs. The delicious collision of sugar and spice is simple enough to master; you just need a glimpse into what herbs pair best with which fruits. Truly, there’s no wrong or right here—it’s like wine pairing—but if you’re just starting out, this easy guide will help you get started. Here’s how herbs can compliment fruits… perfectly. 

Basil

Sweet, aromatic, and slightly spicy, basil is wonderful with berries, Mediterranean fruits, and ripe summer fruits with bold flavors. Pair with:

Cilantro

Grassy, slightly sweet and with a pleasant “soapy” flavor, cilantro pairs best with fruits that have green, tangy and slightly earthy flavors. Pair with:

Lavender

Dried lavender flowers make for purely garden-inspired summer fruit dishes, especially salads, tarts and infused cocktails. Its incredibly floral flavor and aroma will match with dark berries, near overripe stone fruits, and lemony citrus. Pair with:

Mint

Mint complements most fruits year-round with its sweet, cooling flavor and peppermint aroma. Pair with:

  • Berries
  • Figs and dates
  • Oranges and limes
  • Summer melons
  • Stone fruits (cherries, apricots, plums, etc.)
  • Tree fruits (apples, pears, etc.)

Parsley

Parsley is one of the least “sweet” of the leafy herbs, but it still pairs with certain summer fruits. For best results, use parsley with tropical fruits and rich, robust seasonings like ginger. Pair with:

  • Bananas
  • Coconuts
  • Grapefruits
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapples
  • Summer melons

Thyme

Thyme has a floral-meets-woodsy flavor and delicate aroma. When used sparingly and in the right pairings, it brings out the flowery essences of fruits—just don’t use too much or it can overpower easily. Thyme is wonderful alongside fruits with strong aromatics, as they will hold up to the herb’s floral qualities. Pair with:

  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Peaches
  • Pears



Image: geishaboy500