Eat / Grow

10 Versatile Culinary Herbs to Include in Your Garden

A list of staple herbs and ideas on how to use them in the kitchen.

10 Versatile Culinary Herbs to Include in Your Garden

Herbs are a great addition to any home garden. For the minimal space that most of them require, the amount of freshness and flavor they bring to your kitchen is unmatched.

BASIL

says freshness, and can brighten up any dish. Add it at the very end of cooking a sauce or egg dish, or use fresh in tomato salads, with seafood, or in sandwiches. If you want basil to be the star, try making a fresh pesto sauce or simple syrup to add to fresh lemonade or cocktails.

ROSEMARY

is a great way to add depth to your dishes. Add to the dish early in the cooking process, or as part of a marinade. It’s a great addition to roasts and grilled meats, pairs well with citrus and honey. Try making a rosemary infused oil or candy it for dessert applications.

CHIVES

bring onion flavor to a dish in a bright and delicate way. Used fresh, they are a great addition to herb butters, oils and over almost any savory dish. In the garden you can grow both garlic and onion chives, and the gorgeous purple flowers are edible too!

THYME

is a great herb to grow, since you can use it fresh or dry it for later use. It’s best added at the beginning of the cooking process, and works well as a supporting role herb, not necessarily the main star. It’s a fun addition to cocktails as well as desserts!

PARSLEY

blends well with other herbs, but is a great flavor on it’s own. Use its leaves fresh or its stems in cooking. Try blending it with a little olive oil and garlic, or in a butter and lemon sauce for fish or pasta.

MINT

will grow like wildfire in your garden, so make sure to embrace that, or give it it’s own space. In the kitchen, it brings coolness and freshness to your dishes. There are a range of flavors within the mint family to chose from including spearmint, apple mint, peppermint, chocolate mint. Make tea, add it to yogurt with grated cucumber, or to fresh berries.

CILANTRO

is one of my favorite fresh herbs. It’s a staple in Indian, Mexican, and Thai cuisines. It’s a polarizing herb, where most people either love or hate it. That could be in part to its strong anise-seed and floral qualities. Use the stems in stews or purees, but always use the leaves fresh, or at the very end of cooking. Try making a cilantro oil or chimichurri sauce. It pairs very well with coconut and lime.

SAGE

can bring depth to your dishes, with the flavor developing more as it is cooked. It reminds me of fall, not only pairing with savory dishes but also fall fruit like apples and pears. Besides adding it as part of the cooking process, try frying it or cooking it in butter as a garnish. Grow pineapple sage for teas and for their edible red flowers.

OREGANO

is an easy addition to any garden, growing well in both containers and as ground cover. It’s flavor can vary depending on the variety, ranging from hot & spicy to Greek and Italian. It always brings a punch though, and is best used early in the cooking process of tomato sauces, soups, stews, and roasting.

DILL

is a gorgeous addition to your garden, with plenty of foliage to harvest for the kitchen, as well as the seeds. Always use dill fresh, for a sweet and sour flavor that can’t be matched. It classically pairs well with cucumbers, salmon, tomatoes and potatoes. Try using it on egg dishes, roasted vegetables, fresh in salads or as a garnish to soups and stews.