An indoor culinary herb garden is a fantastic way to enjoy cheap, fresh, organic herbs in your cooking. It will also add character as a feature in your kitchen.
Having your own cooking herb garden will save you money. Herb seeds are far, far cheaper than buying fresh herbs in the supermarket. And they'll be fresher!
I've put together this table of a number of useful kitchen herbs, how to use them and what they taste like.
|Parsley||Curled or curley parsley, flat leaf parsley, Italian parsley||Great as an all-round garnish to almost any dish||Mild, delicate|
|Chives||Add to potato dishes, soups, salads, omelets, pastas||Mild onion|
|Mint||Water mint, wild mint||Seasoning lamb and vegetables such as carrots. Great with roast leg of lamb!||Strong, sharp. Aromatic.|
|Coriander||Chinese parsley (leaves), cilantro (leaves), dhania, Yeun Sai and Japanese Parsley||Used in many cuisine styles for its distinctive flavour. Seeds used in chutneys, ratatouille and some curries.||Distinctive, anise|
|Basil||Sweet basil, Thai basil||Mediterranean dishes especially, but widely used in other cuisine such as Southeast Asian. Leaves to be added just before serving. Used in sauces such as pesto.||Strong, clove-like|
|Oregano||Oreganum, Wild marjoram, Sweet marjoram||To season Mexican, Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes. Also good with vegetables.||Strong|
|Garlic||Great with many dishes as a seasoning or condiment.||Pungent, spicy|
|Sage||To enhance the flavour of meat and sausages, seafood, veggies and stuffing.||Slight peppery flavour|
|Rosemary||Seasoning of lamb roasts, meat stews. Also used with tomato sauces and some poultry and fish dishes.||Aromatic flavour|
|Thyme||Used to flavour meats, soup and stews.||Strong flavour|
|Garden rocket||Arugula, rucola, rugola, rocquette, ruchetta, rocket salad||Used as a leaf to spice up salads.||Peppery, sweet|
|Chervil||Gourmet parsley, garden chervil||Season poultry, seafood, young vegetables||Delicate, subtle, anise|
|Dill||Complements sour, cream and cottage cheeses, dips, spreads, meats, eggs and potato salad.||Spicy|
|Garden Cress||Garden pepper cress, pepper grass, pepperwort, poor man's pepper||Good on sandwiches and salads. Can also be added to soups and egg dishes.||Peppery, tangy|
|Garlic Chives||A garlic substitute with a lighter flavour||Mild garlic|
|Lavender||Use sparingly. Flowers can be added to add visual interest to your dishes, along with the leaves.||Light citrus flavour|
|Tarragon||Dragon's wort, dragon herb||In French cooking to flavour chicken, lasagne, fish and egg dishes. It's also useful in companion planting to repel pests.||Licorice|
Have a look at my "Build Indoor Herb Gardens" guide to learn how to plant and look after your kitchen herbs. I cover containers, potting soil, planing and lighting.
I hope you enjoy your indoor culinary herb garden as much as I enjoy mine!