Not much compares to the culinary joy of picking fresh herbs to add to your kitchen creations. Wherever I land, there are a few staple herbs I like to grow in garden plots or pots every summer. Here’s my list of staple herbs to grow for culinary creativity.
1. Parsley. Parsley is great to grow in a garden patch because it’s a hardy perennial that doesn’t need much sun or attention to keep coming back every year.
2. Sage. In Colorado and other semi-arid climes, sage will blossom into a bush that sustains fragrant leaves through the winter.
3. Rosemary. Every summer I kill another potted rosemary plant, probably by over-watering, but while it lasts we make good use of the needles in savory Glorious One-Pot Meals and olive-oil rubbed oven roasted potatoes.
4. Basil. I grow basil in pots around my flagstone patio and harvest leaves for everything from marinara sauce to Italian-style tuna with olive oil, basil and capers.
5. Mint. For some reason, as much as I want mint to spread and go wild in my yard, it simply refuses to cooperate, so I grow mint in pots, too. I love a cold glass of Sun-Tea poured over mint leaves, and often use mint in rice pilaf-type dishes.
6. Oregano and/or Marjoram. I usually pick one or the other and while oregano is the more familiar, I find marjoram to be the more versatile herb.
7. Chives. The chives I planted seven summers ago still reappear year after year for me to snip to give a little zing to any dish, hot or cold.
8. Cilantro. Okay, I don’t actually grow cilantro because I can’t stand it, but it’s easy to grow and a lot of people would probably like to have it in their kitchen garden.