I LOVE to cook with fresh herbs! My first herb was a pot of garlic chive that I got shortly after my husband and I moved in together almost 6 years ago. I have saved the seeds and planted and replanted and thought it died so many times but every single year it comes back stronger than ever! It started out in a tiny pot and now it’s in a HUGE pot on our porch. It grows so fast that we can’t keep up with eating it all! But I will say it was my gateway herb. Since then I’ve planted so much more.
Since the deer in our neighborhood are assholes persistent, we can’t plant anything edible in our yard, so I keep my herbs in pots. Here is a list of my favorite herbs to grow in your garden to up your recipe game and how I like to use them.
Garlic Chive -Also called Chinese chives or jiǔ cài. I like to sautée them with garlic and a little butter for a simple side dish, sprinkle on eggs, or mix into ground meat.
Chive – Very good for blood flow. My daughter and I both have high platelets so we put some chives on our eggs every morning and sometimes she eats a small blade while we harvest.
Parsley – Donut loves it, and the kiddo loves to feed it to him. It saves his breath, for a minute, haha! I also love chopped parsley on salads, pastas and pretty much anything that could use a little freshness!
Oregano– Chop up and add to pasta sauce, obvs. I also like to make an easy “pernil style” pork dish. Just chop up some oregano and garlic, mix with some salt, pepper and olive oil. Rub all over some pork chops and grill!
Dill – Great with fish! Brush fish with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and fresh dill chopped. Bake, and squeeze lemon on top afterwards. You can also make a delicious yogurt sauce with plain yogurt, dill, salt, pepper, garlic and chopped cucumber.
Rosemary – PERFECT with pork. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and rub with chopped rosemary leaves. Leave for awhile and then cook as usual. Add more chopped rosemary leaves after cooking. Make your own sausage too! I like Alton Brown’s recipe for homemade sausage.
Basil – Sautéed with spinach and garlic makes for a great side dish. Also toss with chopped tomatoes, diced mozzarella and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette for a yummy caprese salad.
Sage – Kiddo loves these. Fry the leaves up in some butter till crispy for a yummy little chip. Kiddo loves these in the morning.
Scallions – Great to sprinkle in salad, toss with roasted potatoes and of course in omelets.
Thyme – Can add to beef with some chopped red peppers, garlic and red onions to make a middle eastern style meatball. Eat with dill and yogurt sauce.
The BEST part about all the herbs listed above is that they all thrive in FULL SUN, so just leave them there. No need to calculate how many hours of sun vs. shade or any of that other complicated stuff. I water when the top inch of soil begins to feel dry, and that’s it!
You COULD start these from seed (which I used to do but with a rambunctious toddler running around and a second on the way, it’s not gonna happen for awhile) but the last few seasons I’ve bought my herbs from local herb purveyors. If you do start from seed, I highly recommend Hudson Valley Seed Company! They have wonderful heirloom varieties and are certified organic!
What are your favorite herbs to cook with? What recipes do you like to use?