How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

One thing you’ll always find in recipes or cooking tutorials on Youtube is a selection of fresh herbs that are supposed to be vital to the flavor of a dish.

But there’s one problem – some of these are obscure ingredients that you might not know!

More than this, there are some terms that are used to describe how many of these herbs to use.

So let’s say you’re looking at a recipe and you’ve come across the term ‘sprig’ – what exactly is a sprig?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Quick Answer: How Much Is A Sprig? A sprig is a term used to describe how much of a specific herb you should put into a dish. It is used for a variety of different herbs including Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Tarragon, Parsley, Basil, and others.

In this article, we’re going to break down exactly what a ‘sprig’ means for each of these, and give you some additional information about how to measure herbs to make sure your dish has the perfect flavor! 

What Is A Sprig Of Rosemary?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Rosemary is a herb that is often used to flavor hearty dishes such as casseroles, salads, stews, and soups.

It’s a great pairing with different meats and is overall a very versatile herb.

Rosemary has been used for centuries for medicine and cooking and is most easily recognized with its long stem and short needles. 

If you’re cooking with fresh rosemary and want to know what a ‘sprig’ is, generally you’ll want to use an amount under 3 inches.

Measure from the top of the plant and try not to use the stem as this won’t really add to flavor. 

What Is A Sprig Of Thyme?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Thyme is a common herb used in Mediterranean cooking. It is often used when paired with meat and a series of different dishes, and there is also a ‘lemon’ variant used to imbue food with more zesty flavors.

Thyme is usually sold in small clusters of tiny stems. So in this case, if you want to measure a sprig you should measure 2 to 3 inches from the very top.

Make sure to strip the leaves off the stem as this is where all of the flavor is. 

What Is A Sprig Of Parsley?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Parsley is a much larger leafed herb with a long stem. Because of the size of the leaves, you won’t need as much, so a sprig would be only one or two leaves.

You can strip the leaves with your fingers or with a pair of small scissors.

Parsley is most commonly paired with other herbs such as basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, nutmeg, or oregano.

It’s a great mix with seafood and is commonly added to fish with garlic butter for a gorgeous array of flavors. 

What Is A Sprig Of Oregano?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Oregano is more of a flower than a herb, but it’s used just the same and you may find recipes that ask you to add a sprig!

If you’ve gotten old with fresh oregano, know that it usually has to be dried in order to be used in a dish. 

In this case, you’ll want to use from half to two-thirds of a tablespoon to make up a sprig.

Oregano is a perfect match for roast pork or vegetables, and it’s also commonly used to spice up tomato-based dishes and anything that uses egg! 

What Is A Sprig Of Mint?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Mint, or Peppermint, is a herb that is most commonly associated with chewing gum or dessert, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t also go well with savory dishes.

Mint is actually one of the most common herbs to enhance the flavor of lamb. You have to be a little careful with mint as it’s very overpowering if you put too much in. 

Because of this, a sprig of mint is likely to be one small spoon.

You need to make sure you’re properly preparing the mint also, as an entire leaf is not something most people enjoy.

Ensure to chop and dice your herb so that it releases all of its flavors and will spread evenly throughout the dish you’re making. 

What Is A Sprig Of Tarragon? 

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

Tarragon is another popular herb that has a sweet taste. It’s most commonly used to imbue flavor to sauces for poultry and different types of fish, but it’s also great when included in salad dressings.

Tarragon is a slender herb with very narrow leaves, and because of this, a sprig can be difficult to discern.

Your best bet when reading a recipe that tells you to include a sprig is to go for 2 or 3 inches from the top of the leaf.

Make sure not to include too much of a stem, and strip all the leaves to ensure you get the most out of your herb. 

What Is A Sprig Of Basil?

How Much Is A Sprig? Defining What A Sprig Is For Different Herbs

When cooking with Basil you need to be careful, as it’s one of the more overpowering herbs on our list.

Basil is incredible to add additional flavor to a variety of dishes, but too much is often very noticeable and you want to make sure you’re only adding a small amount.

A sprig of basil is going to be one or two leaves, though this depends on their size.

Basil leaves can vary, so it’s best to go with either two large leaves or three to four smaller ones.

We would urge you to go for less rather than more if you have to choose, as the flavor of basil will maintain itself throughout the cooking process.

A Note On Stripping Herbs

Make sure to always use the leaf over the stem, as stems on certain herbs can be unpalatable and ruin the overall texture of a dish.

It’s also important to make sure you use small herb scissors to make sure you get as much of the herb as you can and avoid wasting any.

Leaving leaves on a herb can induce additional wilting over time.

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Jess Smith

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