I’ve indicated typical uses for most of the herbs below but here’s a summary of why these are the top 10.
Our Plangarden.com users often ask for advice regarding which herbs to grow. Our top 10 list includes those most popular and palatable in Western dishes – though we’re sure there will be some contention from the cilantro, ginger, et al fans 🙂 In addition, we focused on those herbs that people can grow indoors/outdoors, and have eliminated some not-usually-cultivated-at-home herbs like pepper and cumin.
Garlic is a favorite among foodies and renders a plain old dish to one that could conceivably come from a five-star Mediterranean restaurant. Chives and parsley are used generously in many dishes from soups to various types of salads – potato, lentil, etc. Basil is so wonderfully aromatic and transforms plain old tomato sauce into something out of a gourmet kitchen. The rest of the herbs are delightful complements to meat dishes, esp. poultry, and we suspect that few people have really explored the use of sage or tarragon for chicken dishes.
We don’t quite see eye-to-eye with http://zestycook.com/zestys-top-10-herbs-and-spices/ as first of all, salt is not an herb. A Google search on top 10 herbs usually gives curative-type herbs, rather than those most commonly used to prepare meals and can be grown at home. These are Plangarden’s personal favorites and which we grow outside (SF Bay Area) or in cold frames.
10. Marjoram – This will be sprinkled on our frenched lamb rack on Christmas Day
9. Sage – We use only a little bit – this stuff is intense but good for veggie dishes like zucchini.
8. Thyme – Wonderful for pizza!
7. Oregano – Sprinkle in pizza dough!
6. Tarragon – French & Mexican. Great with artichokes.
5. Rosemary – Our favorite for poultry dishes and lamb.
4. Parsley – Italian (preferred) and Triple Curl
3. Chives – Think potato salad … yum!
2. Basil (indoors or in cold frame at the coast) – We go through tons of basil as we love Italian food. We have African Blue and the regular basil we bought in a pot at Trader Joe’s (still yielding leaves after 7 months!)
1. Garlic – Though some may argue this is not an herb. We consume way too much of this so perhaps it’s more of a “grain.” Our favorite and hardiest variety is Kettle River.
Written by Roy Stahl