In Latin, rosemary means "dew of the sea"—appropriate since it is indigenous to the Mediterranean. Rosemary is one of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs. Its needle like leaves have pronounced lemon-pine flavor that pairs well with roasted lamb, garlic, and olive oil.
Thyme comes in dozens of varieties; however, most cooks use French thyme. Undoubtedly thyme is one of the most important herbs of the European kitchen. This congenial herb pairs well with many other herbs—especially rosemary, parsley, sage, savory, and oregano. Its earthiness is welcome with pork, lamb, duck, or goose, and it's much beloved in Cajun and Creole cooking.
No refrigerator should be without parsley. It's the workhorse of the herb world and can go in just about every dish you cook. Parsley's mild, grassy flavor allows the flavors of other ingredients to come through. Curly parsley is less assertive than its brother, flat-leaf parsley. Flat-leaf parsley is preferred for cooking, as it stands up better to heat and has more flavor, while the more decorative curly parsley is used mostly for garnishing. Sprinkle a little persillade, a mixture of chopped parsley and garlic, on roasted lamb, grilled steaks, fish, chicken, and vegetables as they do in France.