If you need inspiration to cook, stroll past the Domingo Farms booth at your nearest farmers market and take a good whiff.

It smells like a spice rack.

Fennel is used to enhance flavor in a variety of dishes.

While you can typically pick up a farmers’ market food and eat it on the spot, Rudy Domingo’s produce generally plays a supporting role to other food, adding a little jolt of flavor that makes good food really good.

His cilantro, for example, can be used for a variety of cooking styles, including Mexican, Indian, Chinese and Thai. Need to give your salsa or guacamole a little something extra? Chop up some cilantro and sprinkle it in.

His Italian parsley, he said, can often be found floating on top of soups. Widely used in American, European, Brazilian and Middle Eastern cooking, you can also find it as a garnish on potato dishes, rice dishes, fish, fried chicken and vegetable stews. Domingo also offers lots of fennel, which is the primary flavor component in Italian sausages.

Adding the right combination of spices is part of the art of good cooking. But remember that spices and herbs should be used to enhance the food’s natural flavor, not to overtake it. And avoid using too many spices with each dish.  Check out some quick and useful tips on cooking with spices here.  Meanwhile, talk to Rudy (pictured above, at the Arroyo Grande Wednesday market) about what spices go best with different dishes. His offerings also include green garlic, baby bok choy, radishes, dandelion and more.

Domingo Farms has a booth at every San Luis Obispo County Farmers’ Market.