Cooking with Herbs – A Garden Matter Series

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Cooking with Herbs

So you’ve planted all these beautiful herb plants and maybe you are thinking now what? For me, I love the look of herbs growing in the garden. They are beautiful and fragrant and many of them have pretty flowers that can be used in arrangements. Still, most people grow them for cooking, which I see as an added bonus. So for the next six weeks I will be posting a special blog every Thursday to feature a different culinary herb that you will love.

What you can expect from each post:

  • Learn a little about the plant and how to grow it.
  • Learn the best way to harvest the herb for cooking.
  • Learn how to preserve the herb for future use.
  • Check out a couple of my favorite recipes for the featured herb.

Most of my herbs are close to the back of the house for easy access but I also grew some basil this year along with my tomatoes as they are a good companion plant to each other. This simply means they help each other grow better and allegedly help increase their flavor.

If you are not growing your own herbs, you can buy them easily at the grocery store or at a farmer’s market. If you want to use dried herbs in the recipes, just remember the “3 to 1 rule:” use three times more fresh herbs then dried.

Are you excited yet? Here’s my favorite go-to salad dressing recipe that I make whether I have fresh or dried herbs on hand. We use this everyday. It is very versatile and can easily be changed to suit your taste.

Herbal Vinaigrette Dressing

Herbal Balsamic Vinaigrette


Herbal Vinaigrette
Super easy and simple dressing you can use everyday as a salad dressing and/or a marinade. Ingredients
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar (substitute red or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped herbs (I use thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil)
  1. Whisk together all ingredients and serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for future use. Use a canning jar or clean leftover jar from pickles or jam to store your vinaigrette then all you have to do is shake it up to use.

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About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Hello Patti, thanks for your recipe for the herbal vinaigrette. I have an herb bed within our garden and need to use my herbs more in my cooking. I look forward to your series and the recipes that you plan to share.

    • Jane, so glad to hear from you. Here’s a spoiler alert. They are all really easy and basic and that’s what keeps me going back to use them over and over. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. What a wonderful idea for a series! Look forward to learning more. Love your spoiler alert in your comment to Jane. I love easy and basic.

  3. I love a good vinaigrette! It’s also good on pasta, a nice alternative to tomato or cream based sauces.

    • Great idea Amy. I also like to marinate veggies in it then grill them and toss with pasta. We love pasta! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Oh my I am trying this as soon as I can! I love fresh salad dressing but rarely make it. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Ann,

      I really think you will love it. It’s so easy and I have received many compliments. Switch up the vinegar/oil/type of mustard and of course mix of herbs and you will find a recipe that is perfect for you. Or, you can just use mine. 😉
      Have a great day and thanks for the lovely comment!

  5. Thanks for including this post Jessi. You are a peach!


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