Oregano: Greek Oregano (best) has a hot, peppery flavor.
How to Use: Oregano enhances cheese dishes, eggs, frittatas, quiches, and savory flans.
It add dimension to yeast breads, marinated vegetables, roasted red sweet peppers, mushrooms, roasted and stewed beef, pork, poultry, onions, black beans, potatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and most shellfish.
Oregano flavor combines well with garlic, thyme, parsley, and olive oil. It is good with pizza, Italian dishes, tomatoes, chili, and vinaigrette.
Oregano can be used in place of marjoram but use less, because oregano has a stronger flavor.
Harvest and Storage: Can be dried, in fact some dishes taste better if used dried. Pick young leaves anytime and gather just before flowers open. it can be frozen or used in flavored vinegars.
Parsley: Italian of flat leaf has stronger flavor than curly parsley and is the best variety for cooking. Curly is good added after dish has been cooked. It is a popular kitchen herb, and when Italian Parsly is cooked it enhances the flavor of other foods and herbs.
How to Use: Chop and stir into dips, herb butters, scramble eggs, pasta salads, soups, stews, and potato dishes.
Use as garnish, in tomato sauce, in mayonnaise, sandwiches, salads, with carrots, cucumbers, peas, and squash.
Parsley is known for containing vitamin A, B, C, calcium and phosphorus.
The whole leaves can be fried for a unique garnish or snack.
Harvest and Storage: Can be dried or frozen. Pick leaves during first year. Parsley is a bi-annual and goes to seed the second year.
Rosemary: Used as seasoning, rosemary’s flavor combines both strong and subtle qualities. It is pungent, somewhat piney mint like flavor. The leaf should be added sparingly to most meat dishes.
How to Use: Rosemary goes well with beef, lamb, and chicken. It will aid in the digestion of fats.
Great in breads, cornbread, stuffing, jelly, vinegar, cauliflower, corn, onions, peas, butter, potatoes, squash, vinaigrette, marinades, cream sauces, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, eggs, lentils, and complements the herbs; chives, thyme, chervil, parsley, and bay in recipes.
Enhance the flavor and sweetness of fruit salads, and replace mint with rosemary in mint jelly recipes.
Harvest and Storage: Harvesting can be done throughout the summer. Do not remove more than 20 percent of the growth at one time. Pick small amounts all year long, and gather the main crop before it flowers. It can be dried or frozen. After it has dried, strip off the leaves from the stems. If the stems are large enough save and use as skewers on the barbecue grill. Always soak the skewers to prevent burning.
Sage: is a strongly flavored pungent herb which complements strongly flavored foods and aids in the digestion of fats. Sage lemony like camphor flavor is pleasantly bitter.
How to Use: Young leaves can be eaten fresh in salads, and cooked in omelets, fritters, soups, yeast breads, marinades, sausages, meat pies, and stuffing. Try dipping leaves in a batter and frying.
Good with artichokes, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, squash, corn, potatoes, eggplant, snap beans, leeks, onions, brussels sprouts, cabbage, oranges, lemon, garlic, cheese, lentils and shell beans.
Flavored sage such as Pineapple and Clary can be used instead of garden sage.
Harvest and Storage: Pick leaves just before flowering. Sage should be dried slowly either by hanging or dry them in the refrigerator. Dried sage has a strong flavor and is different than fresh.
Tarragon: can be dominating and overshadow or fight with other flavors. Use in small amounts for a subtle, and desirable flavor, which quickly mixes with other flavors.
How to Use: Add to tartar sauce, avocado filling, mayonnaise, fish dishes, salad dressing, light soups, tomatoes, omelets, herb butters, yogurt, sour cream and is good as a garnish.
Great in mustard and add to preserved pickles.
Add the last 15 minutes to fish, pork, beef, and poultry. Good in dishes with chervil, garlic, chives, oranges, rice and grains.
Harvest and Storage: Cut tarragon in the first six to eight weeks after planting. A second harvest can be taken after growth as reoccurred. When harvesting, handle the leaves gently as they can bruise easily. Tarragon is best frozen or preserved in white wine vinegar, but can be dried at a low temperature, at or below 80 degrees F.
Thyme: Blends well with rosemary and sage and has a delicate faint clove after taste.
How to Use: Sprinkle on sauteed sliced summer squash and onions. Thyme works well with beef, chicken, fish, stuffing, sausages, stews, soups, stocks, bread, herb butter, lentils, herb mayonnaise, flavored vinegars, mustard and most beans.
It blends well with lemon, garlic and basil.
Try thyme in cookies, fruit salads, cakes, and jelly. In tomato sauce, salad dressings, pickle beets, carrots, eggplant, potato, and zucchini.
Harvest and Storage: Can be frozen or dried and can be cut back hard in the beginning but towards the end of summer the last cut should leave plenty of leaves for winter hardiness.
Just a note about most fresh herbs they should be added at the end of cooking time. Dried herbs can be added earlier in the cooking time. Dried herbs are stronger in flavor and a good rule of thumb until you learn the flavor use about half dried to fresh.
Happy Herb Cooking!