Herbs make common foods taste special

Most herbs will do well in container gardens and window boxes. If they are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them cooking and serving every meal.

Sage does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody too soon. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted after about 3 years since it will become woody stems with little leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them safe after drying you will have that wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects. Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so I feel that each harvest yields two separate things: leaves and stems. Keep the stems in a freezer bag in my freezer and use them for grilling skewers. Since rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water but likes to dry out between watering, I think that being in its own container makes the herb grow that much hardier, since it can receive special care.

Basil is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you can be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

Thyme is an often undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs! It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering. Some varieties grow into small shrub-like plants that enhance an entrance, and its tiny purple flowers are lovely. Being such a low maintenance herb, you can see how well thyme will fit in your container garden.

Mint is notorious for getting away from the gardener. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. If you are trying to keep your varieties pure, cross pollination is easy to do if the strains are too close together. Containers can be placed far enough away from one another to keep your pineapple mint from suddenly tasting like catnip-pineapple mint. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is also so tasty, it can be used more often if it is handy.

Chives Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Frozen Soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Dried Game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegars, salads, mustards, sauces hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar, Soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Greek Oregano Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Sauces white and tomato, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegars.

Rosemary Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Sage Leaves/Flowers Fresh or Dried
Stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh baked potato’s and fresh garden salads.

8 responses to “Herbs make common foods taste special

  1. My grandmother made a baked chicken stuffed with basil, breadcrumbs and eggs. And it was the fstto traditional Christmas lunch just for us. The filling was released before cutting the can into pieces, and sliced. It was delicious. 😋

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  2. Love growing herbs not only for the kitchen but for the craft room too!

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  3. Any ideas on what I can do with Tarragon that is running amok? We have a special “herb garden” area that we started about 20 years ago. Most of them are great fresh or dried and can be used in numerous ways. I know that tarragon is an herb but find very few (little to none) recipes or ways to use it. Our Praying Mantis love to play on it so I have left it alone as they are good bugs (one of my favs) – BUT – it is out of control. It spreads as bad as our wiregrass and even harder to kill. Do you know of any good uses for it – fresh, dried, or even medicinal? HELP!!

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    • I can only speak for myself, but I think Tarragon goes well with cheese, fish, chicken and as a garnish for salads, potato, tomato, mushroom soups and pork or chicken stews.

      Try making a small amount of Tarragon butter for baked potatoes.

      Happy Gardening

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  4. Enjoyed your article. I enjoy growing and experimenting with herbs in traditional and new dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Going Batty in Wales

    I grow herbs in pots in the greenhouse attached to my house – easy to pick a sprig even if it is raining!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love growing herbs also! Last year I cut several long stems of rosemary and stuck them in water. They grew roots very quickly and I planted them in a pot in the fall. This spring I gave the pot to my son, as he likes it in his potatoes.

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  7. I love growing herbs and use them in my kitchen all the time.

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