COMMON USES FOR THE TOP TEN FAVORITE HERBS
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) salads (tuna, greens, potato, egg), use with fresh tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, in marinades, or pesto. Works well in combination with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Try basil on a sandwich of whole wheat bread with tomatoes and mayo. Also, wonderful in pesto and herb butters.
Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) chicken broth or stuffing, marinades for meat or fish, lamb, veal, sauces, soups, or egg dishes, often used in partnership with tomatoes, works well in oils and butters. Lemon thyme (T. x citriodorus) can be used with fish, in tea, and in salad dressings
Bay (Laurus nobilis) the bay leaf added at the beginning of cooking soups and stews imparts a deep, rich flavor. The leaf is left whole so it can be retrieved prior to serving. Fresh leaves are stronger than dried.
Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) sausage, poultry, stuffing, pork, lamb, seafood, vegetables, breads, use as a spice rub for pork chops or pork tenderloin, chopped leaves are great in salads.
Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare) use in soups, casseroles, sauces, stews, stuffing, eggs, tomato-based dishes, chili, and pizza.
Chives (Alliums schoenoprasum) vinegars, soft cheeses, salads, used as a garnish, leaves work well in butters and oils
Dill (Anethum graveolens) dill seeds are often combined with onions, cabbage, potatoes, cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Seeds can be added to casseroles, lamb, fish, vegetable dishes, and sauces. Chopped or whole dill weed can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, meat dishes, pasta, eggs and used to enhance sauces, dips, butters and cheeses.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) soups, stews, gravies, salads, meat and potatoes, used as a garnish and a breath freshener. Be generous with this herb in tomato dishes
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) lamb, venison, poultry, soups, stews, fish, tomato sauces, vegetables, marinades, can be used as skewers for vegetables and meats on the grill, works well in a trio with sage and thyme, or with garlic and thyme, tastes great on steamed red potatoes or peas.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.) beverages, an ingredient in herbes de Provence blends and in a variety of sweet dishes. Lavandula angustifolia is best for culinary use and flowers should be harvested just prior to opening and dried before use. Infusions can be made with fresh flowers and used in recipes . cup fresh lavender flowers to 3 cups distilled water, in a nonreactive pan, bring water to a boil and pour over flowers; steep for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Resources to try: The Herb Society of America’s Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking with Herbs edited by: Katherine K. Schlosser