Herb Recipes to Add to Every Meal

Grow a patch of culinary herbs and enjoy healthy fresh flavours with every meal

Dry and freeze your herbs so you’ll always have them on hand

Liven up your dishes with these herb-filled sides

I always devote one border of the food garden to growing a diversity of culinary herbs, so that I have fresh harvests of leaves, flowers, stems, roots and seeds for the kitchen every year.

Plenty more fragrant herbs grow in planters, pots and hanging baskets, and all provide us with seasonings and ingredients for almost everything we eat.

Tip: Herbs lose flavour over time, so replenish them annually.

How to Harvest and Dry Herbs

The essential oil concentrate is said to be highest in the morning, after the dew has dried off the plant, and it is these oils that give flavour to herbs. Herbs need to be dried at cooler temperatures to protect these essential oils, never in full sun.

For some herbs, such as dill leaves, I use the dehydrator at 95°F (35°C) to capture their delicate aroma, but keep a close eye on them, as they can dry very fast!

My preferred method of drying is using a special rack in the shaded garage, where warm air flows through in summer. I pick fresh young shoots about 15 cm (6 in.) long and tie them together in small bunches. To capture the essential oils I put them inside a paper bag and hang it on the drying rack.

After a few days, the dried herbs should be ready to store in airtight jars in a dark place, which prevents deterioration from light. TIP: For ready-to-use clean herbs, rinse plants with the garden hose and allow to dry in the sun just before harvest.

Veggie Butter

Use veggie butter to liven up crackers, sandwiches, wraps, vegetables, omelettes, pasta and fish dishes, because it’s really wonderful stuff!

  • 250 mL (1 cup) butter (unsalted preferred)
  • 15 mL (1 Tbsp.) tomato paste
  • Add to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Add any of the following to make veggie butter to suit your taste:
  • 1 leek, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh dill
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh basil
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh Greek oregano
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh parsley or parcel
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh chives or garlic chives
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh chervil
  • 10 mL (2 tsp.) fresh fennel leaves


  1. Blend into a smooth consistency
  2. Spoon the veggie butter into glass storage dishes or ramekins, and store in the fridge until use

French Sorrel Sauce

This versatile sauce from easy-to-grow French sorrel makes a fitting accompaniment to roasted root vegetables, steamed greens, hearty lentils or vegan burger patties.


  • 4 (100 gr) French sorrel leaves, washed
  • 170 gr (6 oz.) Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 30 mL (2 Tbsp.) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 mL (1 tsp.) sea salt
  • 2 ml (½ tsp.) Dijon mustard


  1. Put the above ingredients into the bowl of a food blender and whiz up into a bright-green sauce
  2. Chill until needed

Mint Ideas

Make delicious tea blends by combining different varieties of mint. Try steeping fresh sprigs of chocolate and lavender mint, or ginger and apple mint together for delightful summer hot or cold teas. In winter we can enjoy the same herbal tea by using these mints dried.

Vegetable Salt

For those who want to avoid adding salt to food, this homemade alternative is perfect. Use it anywhere you would use salt, and sprinkle lots of healthy flavour over your food instead.


  • 250 mL (1 cup) dried chard leaves
  • 250 mL (1 cup) dried kale leaves
  • 125 mL (½ cup) thyme, dried
  • 125 mL (½ cup) Greek oregano, dried
  • 45 mL (3 Tbsp.) seaweed, dried
  • 15 mL (1 Tbsp.) dried cayenne pepper flakes


  1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend into a fine mixture on high speed for 30 seconds, without grinding to a powder stage
  2. Store in a sealed container

Gourmet Vegetable Salt

To the above recipe add:

  • 250 mL (1 cup) dried tomatoes, minced
  • 250 mL (1 cup) dried peppers, minced
  • Optional: Add 250 mL (1 cup) dried leeks, onions or carrots, finely chopped