It’s time to regather my brain – which is still halfway to the beach – and share this herb primer featuring my three favorite green herbs to grow and use in cooking: rosemary, mint, and sage.
Rosemary is so fragrant and makes me think of hot, dry summers in the South of France where it grows abundantly in our little roof garden. It’s easy enough to grow in a pot on your sunny window sill too.
I love a quick chop of fresh rosemary in an herb rub for meat or whole branches tucked into a parchment envelope when roasting whole or filleted fish.
And, yes, baked apples with rosemary is one of my signature dishes.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- baked apples with rosemary & honey
- jerusalem artichokes with garlic, rosemary & chives
- roasted tomato salad
- flounder & spicy artichokes in papillote + roasted red snapper
Mint can be a little harder to incorporate – it is such a strong, standalone flavor, but used sparingly, it can provide a cooling freshness to desserts, summer salads, and even heavier meat dishes.
Keep a bunch of mint standing in a glass of water (like a little herb bouquet) in a cool spot in your kitchen and you will be surprised at how often you reach for it.
Here are some fun mint recipes to try:
- green tea and chocolate marble cake with mint glaze
- watermelon, tomme, and mint salad
- cucumber & mint tzatziki
- spring pea risotto & minted pea salad
There are so many varieties of mint – spearmint is probably the strongest in flavor, and I would avoid using it in anything besides drinks, unless you want that particular strong, minty green cool.
The flavor of sage is heady and complex. Often, it may be that “secret ingredient” that you can’t immediately recognize in a dish, but that adds a little magic touch.
Frying or roasting sage really brings out its earthy flavor. Sage pairs particularly well with mushrooms, squashes and pumpkins, and (oh yes) anything having to do with butter.
If you fry sage leaves – or mint leaves too, actually – they get crispy and brighter green in color.
Some of the many ways to cook with sage:
- portobello, poached egg, & spicy sausage
- parsnip puree with fried sage and walnuts
- sage butter roasted chicken
- butternut squash and sage ravioli
- mushroom ragu
ps. Coming up soon! A primer on edible flowers. You know that I am a big fan of using edible flowers in dishes – such an easy way to introduce simple color and joy to plating.