Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs such as basil, mint, thyme and oregano will add a big dash of flavor to your dishes.
Tomato-Butter Pan Sauce with Mint
This luscious (and easy!) sauce is good enough to eat with a spoon. If you're feeling more civilized than that, try it over pasta or seared or grilled chicken or whitefish, or as an appetizer dipping sauce with bread.
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.
Chicken Breasts with Herbs
A braise with fresh oregano and parsley keeps this chicken dinner flavorful and moist.
Garlicky Fish Tacos
Our pan-fried tilapia is drizzled with garlic butter and lime juice. We garnished ours with fresh cilantro, fresh parsley and sliced pickled red onion. To quick pickle the onions, combine a sliced red onion with a generous pour of cider vinegar, a spoonful of brown sugar, toasted cumin seeds and a bit of salt. Let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
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.
Grilled Asparagus with Minty Lemon and Walnut Crumbs
Dress up grilled asparagus with this crispy crumb mixture, sort of a savory streusel made with panko, walnuts, lemon zest and mint. The combo is especially good alongside pork or chicken.
This classic Argentinian sauce with fresh parsley and cilantro is made for spooning over grilled meats (especially steak), but we also love it with scrambled eggs or roasted potatoes. The recipe comes from chef Michael Ollier of Certified Angus Beef in Wooster, Ohio.
Honey-Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
Chicago chef Myk Banas created these utterly delicious and subtly sophisticated cookies.
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.
Minty Zoodle Salad with Radishes and Feta
Spiralized zucchini takes the place of cucumber in this classic salad combo. Try it alongside grilled chicken or fish.
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.
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.
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.
No-Cook Salsa Verde
The avocado in this piquant puree of lime, cilantro, onion and tomatillos gives the salsa some richness and body.
Canned apricot nectar is the easy, fruity sweetener in this refreshing summer sipper.
Fire-Roasted Dilled Potato Medley
Season this colorful potato, carrot and onion combination with just dill, salt and pepper.
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.
Cheddar-Basil Mini Scones
These savory scones taste best warm, but you can make them in advance. Just wrap them in foil and freeze them for up to a month. To reheat, place the wrapped, frozen scones in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
Discover the savory potential of watermelon in this five-ingredient salad.
Hearty Boys Cilantro-Garlic Ribs
Combine cilantro, soy sauce and Asian sweet chili sauce to create an Asian-inspired sauce for these ribs.
Parsley-Herb Rice with Cranberries
This colorful rice makes the perfect side dish for any meal. Stir in fresh basil and parsley just before serving.
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-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.
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.
Herb Butter Mashed Potatoes
Create herb butter by adding snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, oregano and thyme to softened butter.
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.
Fresh Rosemary & Lemon Cupcakes
Italian flavors inspired this cupcake with its refreshing blend of fresh rosemary and lemon and topping of lemon glaze.
Lamb Chops with Garlic and Lavender
Lemon and lavender top off these hearty lamp chops. Prep the night before for easy weeknight grilling.
Jazz up traditional lemonade with watermelon slices and fresh basil leaves.
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.