While dried herbs can be added to a recipe at almost any point in the process, fresh herbs are a different story. Delicate fresh herbs make the most impact when they’re kept that way—fresh. This often means adding them last, as heat can dull their flavor.

Case in point? Our Risotto with Fresh Herbs, which calls for adding thyme and parsley at the end, off the heat, after the rice has fully cooked. The herbs retain their flavor this way, and the dish becomes vibrant and multidimensional instead of one note.

We use the same principle in this Fregola with Herbs and Pecorino and our Arroz Verde (Green Rice), a recipe that can be found in our latest cookbook, Milk Street: The New Rules.

Whether it’s making the most of herbs by saving them for the end, or charring vegetables to beat bitterness, The New Rules cookbook contains practical advice for improving everyday dishes, and the recipes to go along.

Our rule for fresh herbs is particularly important to the way we cook here at Milk Street, where contrasting flavors and textures are just as important in recipes as harmony and balance. A touch of acid, a hint of heat or the crunch from a raw vegetable can transform a weeknight dish. Finishing touches are just important as building flavor.

Check out The New Rules cookbook here and try Rule #16, a great one for this time of year, in the recipe below.