If you have a collection of herbs it’s a simple thing to divide them up, wither by root division or by taking cuttings to share among your family and friends. Do you have a foodie on your gift list? A collection of kitchen herbs would be an excellent present. If you’re new to herbs and simply want to pick up an assortment of herbs at a nursery or grocery store to gift to someone here is a quick rundown on half a dozen culinary herbs and their uses.
Basil – Deliciously fragrant. Used for making homemade pesto or for pairing with any tomato dish. My favorite “Recipe” takes a couple seconds to prepare; I simply curl a basil leaf around a cherry tomato and voila! A culinary sensation!
Chives – Mild onion flavored herb great for sprinkling raw over salads, soups and baked potatoes.
Oregano – Very potent. Use sparingly in Italian dishes. Wonderful sprinkled on pizza.
Parsley – Traditionally used as a garnish on the side of your plate to sweeten your breath at the end of a meal. Its mild flavor makes it a friendly addition to any dish. Toss it in omelettes, soups, stews, biscuit mix, breads and more.
Sage – Strong flavor is used sparingly in meat dishes and, of course, for turkey stuffing! Burning sage leaves is said to clear the room of negative energy.
Thyme – There are so many varieties – orange, lemon, nutmeg, lime, mint, rose, lavender – that it makes me think that is how it came by its name; it takes a life-thyme to experience all the thyme in the world! Very strong in flavor, this another herb where just a pinch will suffice. Use in stews, casseroles and as an essential ingredient in bouquet garnis. Drop a few sprigs in a bowl of water to wash hands with after chopping onions etc. or if you’re really putting on a fancy meal, provide a “finger bowl” for each guest. Take thyme to tell them what it’s for though, or they might mistake if for soup.