5 Herbs for Every Kitchen

Fresh herbs add that special something to a recipe. They elevate simple dishes. They add brightness and interest, infusing dishes with fresh summer flavors. Simple dishes like peas and onions with freshly snipped dill or roasted potatoes with earthy rosemary become dinner party worthy. Herbs are easy to grow. If you have a small, sunny plot of ground in your yard or room for a few pots on your patio, you have the space to grow herbs. Here are 5 of the most versatile herbs that can be mixed and matched in many of your favorite recipes.

Rosemary: Rosemary is hearty herb and native to the Mediterranean.  Compared to other herbs, it has a very strong flavor and aroma so use it sparingly. Rosemary has almost a pine-like scent and taste that pairs well with chicken, potatoes, grilled lamb and olive oil-based marinades. Fry the leaves in a small amount of olive oil for an interesting garnish.

Thyme: Like rosemary, thyme is another hearty herb. It grows wild along the roads of France, Italy and Greece. In the right climate, thyme will grow back each year and can become the size of a small bush. In late summer, it will blossom with tiny white flowers. Thyme plays well with most other herbs and can be used in a variety of dishes. You just gently strip the tiny leaves from the stems so there’s no chopping required.

Mint: There are many varieties of mint but the most versatile for cooking is spearmint. Mint can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Toss it into a grain-based salads or sprinkle chopped mint on watermelon, strawberries or ice cream. Mint is the star in Mojitos and freshly brewed iced tea. If growing mint, keep it contained in the garden or in a pot because it will spread quickly.

Dill: Dill is a beautiful herb in a garden. It’s soft, light green, feathery leaves gently sway in the breeze and glisten with dew on a summer morning. Dill adds vibrancy to fish and seafood, mixed into tuna and egg salad, tossed with roasted vegetables and added to creamy yogurt dips and dressings.

Basil: Sweet basil is the most common type of basil but you can find purple basil, lemon basil and Thai basil in many dishes. Basil is the flavor associated with many Italian dishes, playing the starring role in pesto, on top of Margarita pizza, and of course, layered in the Caprese salad. Basil brightens many foods including eggs, fish, cheese and fruit.

Give these delicious herb-forward recipes a try: 

Citrus-Herb Vinaigrette

Watermelon with Fresh Mint, Blueberries and Feta (perfect for the 4th of July)



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Marguerite says:

    But how do you keep the dill? Whenever I put it in a jar of water, it goes yellow and soggy within a few days – so frustrating, as it’s almost impossible to buy in small quantities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy Matusky says:

      Yes, dill is finicky. I wrap it in a damp paper towel then I lay it in the vegetable draw of my refrigerator. You also can put it in a plastic bag (poking holes in the bag so the dill can “breath”) and keeping in fridge. It should last up to 10 days. If I have more than I can use, I wash and chop it then I put it in ice cube trays filled with vegetable stock. Freeze and then use a cube or two in sauces or soups.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Marguerite says:

        Ooh lots of good ideas, thank you! No more manky old dill!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Judy Matusky says:

        You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

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