One of my favorite things about home is the herb garden we have. I’d say it is as impressive as the garden that produces the vegetables that daily warm my heart and fill my stomach. Here is just a catalog of our deck garden greens: oregano, lavender, 3 kinds of basil, rosemary, pineapple sage, thyme, lemon thyme, curry, cilantro, parsley, dill, and mint. I love the smell of each one, and I also really love combining them. It feels kind of what I would imagine a perfume maker would feel like, finding the different combination of scents and textures that works well and is aesthetically pleasing. Some great things about herbs. First off, I like that am talking about herbs for cooking, not any other usage. Some people need this distinction. Second, they are wonderful raw or cooked. Third, they can go sweet or savory. And lastly (although I’m sure I could think up more reasons), they add amazing flavor without adding calories, sodium, fat, or anything other than zest and healthy benefits. I love fresh fruit with herbs-especially summer fruits: peaches, watermelon, and strawberries all work really well with mint and basil. Roasted veggies are great with rosemary and thyme in particular. For instance, tonight, I picked purple basil, cilantro, lavender, and oregano to go on top of a spinach and beet green salad. No salt or dressing necessary! The fragrance alone, I think, is worth having herbs, but there are several uses–some not even cooking-related, like using it in medicine, cleaning products, and as a scent to wear).
Up next: what to do with leftover potato skins.