Uses for Herbs
Nasturtium - a great way to kick up your salads. The leaves and petals of the nasturtium are packed with nutrition, containing high levels of vitamin C.
Thai Basil - a popular herb in Southeast Asian cuisine and a flavorful garnish served with Vietnamese pho. It holds its flavor and texture better after cooking than other basil varieties and adds a kick to salads when sliced and eaten fresh. Sweet Thai's dark purple flowers and intoxicating scent make it a beautiful addition to a flower bouquet.
Calendula - an old, English-cottage-garden flower, Harvest and save blooms for fresh or dried floral arrangements; dried petals can be used in baking or teas. Calendula gets its common name, pot marigold, because the flower resembles a marigold, and has often been used in pots of soup or stew for both color and flavor.
Chives - the edible flowers are loved by bees, make a tasty chive vinegar, look and taste great in salads, and dry well for arrangements; foliage and/or flowers add a subtle onion flavor to many dishes.
Cilantro - also called Chinese parsley, has a thousand uses in the kitchen. Add a sprig to chicken soup or add chopped leaves to Mexican, Caribbean, or Asian dishes. The crushed seeds add intriguing flavor to stews, beans, and cookies.
Fennel - You are in for a real treat with this gourmet, but often overlooked, garden wonder. Also called Florence fennel, the white, crisp bulbous stem base has a delicious, anise flavor and can be eaten raw, used to flavor soups and pasta, deep-fried, or sautèed. Feathery foliage is attractive in the garden and is an excellent fresh garnish to fish and chicken.
Lemon Balm - Due to its beauty and fragrance, the medieval Frankish king, Charlemagne, had lemon balm planted in every monastery garden. Add to tea, use as a cooking herb to impart lemony flavor, or enjoy its aromatherapeutic qualities in a relaxing bath. Used by herbalists for insomnia and to soothe upset stomachs.
Oregano - Often confused with the more pungent, white-flowered True Greek variety, common oregano, also called wild oregano or wild marjoram, has a milder flavor, and is the traditional variety for medicinal use. Leaves can be used as a fresh or dried herb. The pretty pink to lavender flowers appear from midsummer to fall.