Ground herbs/spices release their flavour more quickly than whole. Ground spices, such as ground thyme or ground cumin, can be used in recipes with short cooking times or can be added near the end of cooking for recipes with longer cooking times.
Whole spices need a longer time to release their flavour. They work well in longer-cooking recipes like soups and stews.
Robust herbs like sage, thyme and bay leaves stand up well over long cooking times, while milder herbs like basil, marjoram and parsley should be added at the last minute for best results. This is especially true for fresh herbs.
Rub leafy herbs in the palm of your hand to release the flavour and aroma. If you are doubling a recipe, increase spices and herbs by one-and-a-half times to start. Taste, and add more if you need.
Spices and seeds such as fennel, cumin, sesame seeds and white peppercorns may be toasted to intensify their flavours. Simply add the spice to a dry, heated frypan and toast until aromatic, stirring occasionally.