I was bitten by the gardening bug hard last year, and my gateway plants were herbs. So many herbs. All of the herbs. Okay, that’s a slight hyperbole, but it is not an understatement to say that they took over my front yard. I started my little shoots last March (but had to drag the pots in often when frost was comin’) and they, for the most part, thrived. Some of them have even survived the winter! I’m gearing up to get some seedlings growing, and thought I’d share my favorite things to actually DO with my favorite herbs.
But first, if you’re interested in growing your own herbs (which I highly recommend: even if you kill them plants are cheaper than supermarket clippings in many cases), read 10 mistakes new herb gardeners make. And if you’re excited to dip your toes into cooking with herbs, check out basics of cooking with herbs.
Now for some of my favorites herb uses!
For the rest of the herbs I’m going to stick with my favorite recipe for them, but I use Basil so much that I couldn’t just pick one thing. I use it tons for pizza sauce (petite diced tomatoes + garlic + olive oil + basil + salt) and spaghetti sauce, which I made differently every time. Oregano plays a big role in both of those, too! I use basil the most for bruchetta (sliced bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella, all broiled until the cheese is melted), my favorite summer appetizer for guests. I also use basil for pesto, and Elise’s take is my favorite way to do it! I use pesto in simple pasta dishes or as a condiment on paninis. Yum! In Autumn, I use the last bits before it dies out for Autumn Golden Vegetable Lasagna.
Sage pairs well with pork or garlic, and with the flavorful and hearty Sage Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw, sage gets both!
Rosemary is great with meat and potatoes. The latter is my favorite thing to pair it with: rosemary roasted potatoes are a great alternative to french fries!
Thyme is very versatile, but I love it the most with comfort food chicken dishes. I use it in my homemade chicken broth along with parsley, which makes Eliza’s favorite meal, chicken pot pie, so much more flavorful.
Parsley is another versatile herb and can be included in SO MANY THINGS, my favorite of them being roasted cauliflower quiche.
Cilantro can make mexican dishes taste so fresh and bright! I love making my own cilantro lime rice and guacamole for burritos.
Dill is a must have for canning refrigerator pickles! I use a secret family recipe, but there are plenty of alternatives to be found online. Bonus: it’s how we caught the caterpillar we watched morph into a butterfly!
P.S. I don’t actually get around to using all of my herbs. I just enjoy smelling Mint, for instance, even though there’s plenty of ways I could cook with it. I’ll get around to it sometime!
Those are my favorite uses for my favorite herbs! I’d love to hear yours; leave links to your favorite herb filled recipes in the comments!