Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Whipped Fresh Herb Butter
Homemade butter is a great conversation starter; your friends won’t believe you made it from scratch! This fresh, herby version from Urban Roots Farm in Springfield, Missouri, is perfect for melting over sweet corn or spreading on bread.
Lemon, basil and olive oil form a pestolike sauce to complement the linguine and kidney beans. From start to finish, this five-ingredient dinner takes only 25 minutes.
Fresh Herb Pasta Primavera
A Parmesan cream sauce tops pasta made with your choice of fresh herbs and veggies.
An all-purpose marinade of basil and butter works great on salmon, halibut or sea bass fillets. Broil or grill for an easy meal.
Fingerling Potato Salad with Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette
You'll have more Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette than you need for this fresh-tasting potato salad; keep the extra dressing on hand for another potato or pasta salad. The recipe is from Chicago chef Myk Banas.
Pea and Mint Pesto
Fresh mint and sweet peas shine in this bright, versatile pesto. We love it as a dip, sandwich spread and pasta sauce (thinned with a little water), but we suspect that you’ll find even more ways to use it for a burst of early-summer flavor.
Minted Iced Tea
Top this fruit-infused tea with a refreshing garnish of mint for the perfect summer drink.
Italian Basil, Tomato and Pasta Salad
Designed for a potluck or large family gathering, this make-ahead salad features a mustard-garlic vinaigrette along with cut green beans, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, your choice of pasta and lots of basil.
Fresh Rosemary & Lemon Cupcakes
Italian flavors inspired this cupcake with its refreshing blend of fresh rosemary and lemon and topping of lemon glaze.
Mini Puffs with Goat Cheese and Herbs
Mix parsley, dill or basil, and pepper into goat and cream cheese for a filling for these delicate puffs. Bake the puffs ahead of time and freeze until needed.
If you have a bounty of herbs in your garden, harvest several cups to make simple herb salts that can be sprinkled on meat, fish, vegetables or eggs.
Sage Potato Rolls
For a pretty presentation, lightly dip the top of each dough ball into flour or brush with egg white. Top each with a sage leaf, brush with egg white, and place on prepared baking sheets.
Hearty Boys Cilantro-Garlic Ribs
Combine cilantro, soy sauce and Asian sweet chili sauce to create an Asian-inspired sauce for these ribs.
Lemon-Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Rub a blend of lemon peel, rosemary, thyme, parsley and garlic on the chicken before baking; Add fresh thyme sprigs and garlic bulbs around the chicken for even more flavor. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots make this a one-pan meal.
Cheddar-Basil Mini Scones
Snips of fresh basil add color and flavor to these mini scones. Freeze up to a month, and pop into an oven to reheat.
Fire-Roasted Dilled Potato Medley
Season this colorful potato, carrot and onion combination with just dill, salt and pepper.
Honey-Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
Amateur beekeeper and Chicago chef Myk Banas suggests serving these light cookies with your favorite sorbet or ice cream. His choice is a classic lemon sorbet.
Lemon-Dill Walleye Sandwiches
Our walleye sandwiches showcase fish grilled on a bed of lemon slices with a lemon-and-dill marinade.
Lamb Chops with Garlic and Lavender
Lemon and lavender top off these hearty lamp chops. Prep the night before for easy weeknight grilling.
Mint Ice Cream
Give homemade vanilla ice cream a refreshing twist of mint. A dash of salt in the cream mixture enhances sweetness.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
Combine just five ingredients for this juicy salad. It offers an unusual blend of ingredients that complement each other. We liked the sweet fruit with fresh mint.
Parsley-Herb Rice with Cranberries
This colorful rice makes the perfect side dish for any celebration. Stir in fresh basil and parsley just before serving.
Homemade Herb Vinegars
Do you have a bounty of herbs in your backyard? Use them to make simple herb-infused vinegars. They're great for salad dressings and marinades and make wonderful gifts.
Jazz up traditional lemonade with watermelon slices and fresh basil leaves.
Grilled Green Tomatoes with Garden Herb Salad
This recipe is perfect just before the beginning of tomato season and just as it ends. Grilling the tomatoes gives them a smokiness that complements their natural tanginess.
Lemon-on-Lemon Carrot Soup
Lemon thyme and fresh lemon slices add a double dose of refreshing flavor to this nutritious, low-fat side-dish soup.
Herb Butter Mashed Potatoes
Create herb butter by adding snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, oregano and thyme to softened butter.
Sage, basil or mint flavor delicate crepes filled with a yogurt-fruit mixture. Use whatever fruit combination you prefer.
Herbed Country Twist Bread
You can add a different herb to each rope of this braided bread, or combine them and add them to the whole batch of dough.
Toss edible flowers and greens with a homemade vinaigrette, then add snipped fresh tarragon, marjoram, and chives.
Whole-wheat flour and rosemary give these biscuits a nutty-herb flavor. Try them with soup or salad.
Grow your own herbs
Easy-to-grow herbs thrive in a variety of settings. Try a small kitchen container garden for easy access to fresh ingredients.
Rosemary (pictured): This drought-tolerant shrub likes hot, sunny spots with quick-draining soil. Use rosemary to flavor main dishes, such as chicken, as well as some sweet desserts.
Basil: This annual herb grows best in full sun and rich, moist soil. Once the root system is established, about six weeks after sowing, it tolerates short periods of drought. Use it in pesto or Italian dishes.
Cilantro: Plant this annual herb in well-drained soil. Cilantro grows best in sun, although it tolerates some shade. Because it has a long taproot, place it in a container at least 12 inches deep. Cilantro adds extra tang to Mexican or Asian dishes.
More herbs to grow
Oregano (pictured): This perennial plant likes full sun and well-drained potting mix. The more sun oregano receives, the more pungent the flavor of the leaves. It does not tolerate wet soil. Use oregano in pizza and pasta sauces.
Thyme: Thyme comes in many varieties, and all grow best in full sun and well-drained soil. A sprinkle of thyme adds a savory flavor to roasted vegetables.
Mint: This vigorous plant becomes invasive unless confined to a pot. Grow in full sun or partial shade. Garnish drinks or desserts with a fresh sprig of mint, or use in salads.