- thyme: english thyme is my favorite. i use this with everything from stews to eggs to herb stuffing for poultry to rubs for roasts to lima beans.
- rosemary: italian or tuscan blue are my favorite varieties. get the bushy kind, not the creepy kind. i use this much like thyme. it's also great with lamb and on baked salmon.
- basil: LOVES the sun! the more you clip it, the more it will leaf out. excellent on sandwiches as well as in anything italian of course. indispensible in thai food, too.
- garlic: grows well alongside roses, believe it or not. it will keep aphids off the roses and the rose roots give off gasses that benefit it.
- mint: spreads like wildfire and can't be killed. excellent for mint juleps, the hippie's favorite summer afternoon libation. also good in lemonade and tea. i sometimes use it to garnish desserts, too.
- oregano: obvious italian/greek food uses, but also good to make herbed mayo for sandwiches and for dipping artichoke leaves into. greek oregano is better than italian in my opinion.
- cilantro: a must-have for salsa and for black beans and many mexican and southwestern dishes.
- sage: EASY to kill! silver tastes better than purple. great in sweet soups like butternut squash and carrot.
- marjoram: somewhat delicate, but great with steamed or glazed carrots.
- chives: great with potatoes, cheesey things (like mac & cheese), and mixed into butter and spread onto fresh bread. YUM!
- sorrell: good in light summer soups and with eggs. very delicate flavor.
- dill: sour cream and dill potato salad is fabulous. many uses, but a little goes a long way.
- parsley: use this in just about anything for color and a mild flavoring. i like it in potato salads and in soups and in spaghetti sauce.
- fennel: IF you like licorice, which i do NOT, but this is a big, cool looking plant that will come back on its own every year. people like to eat the whole bulb, sliced longways and pan seared or grilled.
- lavender: i have not cooked with this yet, but i have plans; i have a recipe for a beautiful chocolate and lavender cake I want to try. and even if you don't cook with it, you can dry it for yummy smelling sachets.
one good tip i got last summer--for fresh tasting herbs int he winter, take what you have left at the end of summer, chop it up, and then put them into ice cube trays. put a little water on them and freeze them into ice cubes. when you are making stew or spaghetti sauce in decempber, just throw in a few cubes, and voilá.
if you guys have any suggestions for stuff to do with herbs, please pass them along.