My Favorite Culinary Herbs
One of the first things I ever grew were herbs - herbs in outdoor pots. Rosemary, thyme, lavender, cilantro and dill filled pots and created beauty in my backyard. I was fun to head out door with my herb snippers and clip fresh rosemary to stuff under the skin of a chicken I was about to roast.
Lavender grew prolifically in wine barrels at my other home and in time I learned about Spanish, French and English Lavender and hich one I liked best. I enjoy mostly a lavender called Sweet Lavender and you will find it in many places around the farm. If you're interested the botanical name is lavandula heterophylla and this one is not suitable for food because of a high menthol content - it just looks pretty.
Most culinary herbs are easy to grow and if you walk around our farm you'll find over 26 different herbs we grow - both culinary and medicinal - however, culinary herbs have medicinal uses.
Some herbs are just best started buying a transplant. French tarragon is one of them along with winter savory, mint, lemon verbena and oregano. Other herbs like parsley, basil, French sorrel, French chervil (which I love) are easy to grow from seed.
There are classic herbs, herbal herbs, hot herbs, sweet herbs, italian herbs, mediterranean herbs and strong herbs. Depending on what you are preparing you'd use a certain herb.
I'm a simple woman when it comes to food preparation and find that I like to stick with some standards. Rosemary, marjoram, thyme and tarragon work fine with chicken. Fish - dill, tarragon and Kari mentioned the other day that lemon is considered an herb....so perfect, nothing like a fresh squeezed lemon on fish with snips of dill. Mint is perfect with lamb as well as thyme and rosemary.
We are soup lovers and parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme make a simple soup a bit more amazing.
Garlic chives are easy and if let go to flower/seed will keep coming back in beautiful form each year. These you see everywhere at the farm. Just this morning I ran out and cut some garlic chives, snipped them and tossed them into scrambled eggs. They're perfect as a top sprinkling to cumbers and fish.
So, these are just a few thoughts on herbs. We've had a few Growing Herb 101 Workshops with Kari (a MUST TAKE workshop) and Jill and I have teamed up on Herbs 201 with an actual garden walk talking about the different herbs and what we do with them and why we use them.