ROSEMARY - In Latin, rosemary means "dew of the sea"—appropriate since it is indigenous to the Mediterranean. Rosemary is one of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs.  Its needlelike leaves have pronounced lemon-pine flavor that pairs well with roasted lamb, garlic, and olive oil.  Rosemary is a versatile herb that can be used in all kinds of dishes.  A favorite seasoning for steak, poultry, and seafood, rosemary can also feature prominently in homemade breads and rolls.  Rosemary is also a nice addition to focaccia, tomato sauce, pizza, and pork, but because its flavor is strong, use a light hand.  

BASIL - Basilica as it is known in Italy, is one of the most important culinary herbs.  Sweet basil, the most common type, is redolent of licorice and cloves.  Basil's flavor brightens lemon sorbet and can be used in many dishes - basil is excellent in Italian pesto, sauces, sandwiches, soups, salads, pizza, and is in top form when married to tomatoes, garlic, buffalo mozzarella, and fruity olive oil. 
OREGANO - Oregano grows wild in the mountains of Italy and Greece; its Greek name means "joy of the mountain."  In Greece they love oregano sprinkled on salads, while Italians shower it on pizza and slip it into tomato sauces.  Add chopped oregano to vinaigrette, or use it in poultry, game, or seafood dishes when you want to take them in a Greek or Italian direction. 
Oregano is native to every continent and a popular flavor in many different national cuisines. Closely related to marjoram, oregano is not as sweet as marjoram and has a stronger, peppery flavor.  
Oregano is a fabulous addition to tomato sauce, pizza, rice, lamb, fish dishes, marinades, mole sauces, and is a key element of any good Greek salad dressing.  

CILANTRO - An herb with wide delicate lacy green leaves, a slightly citrus and pungent flavor and is a must in any salsa recipe.  Cilantro is the lacy, light green foliage of the coriander seed, and is  wonderful in guacamole, delicious as an alternative to basil in pesto, and the perfect, light and refreshing garnish for a bowl of hot and spicy curry.  With a taste that is both earthy and tart, cilantro adds its fresh, clean flavor to cuisines from all around the globe.  

THYME - With small, round, silver-green leaves, thyme often needs no chopping.  Its rich, savory flavor accentuates almost any dish & is one of the most important herbs of the European kitchen.  This congenial herb pairs well with many other herbs—especially rosemary, parsley, sage, savory, and oregano.  It is welcome with pork, lamb, duck, or goose; tomatoes, olives, garlic, fish. Thyme is a key ingredient in Cajun, Creole & Caribbean cooking.  

Thyme is a classic component of a “bouquet garni,” a small bundle of herbs, tied with a bit of string or twine, and used in French cooking to flavor soups and stews.  Traditionally including parsley and bay leaves as well as thyme, the bouquet garni is removed before the meal is served, allowing fresh herb flavor to subtly permeate a dish without requiring any labor-intensive chopping on behalf of the cook.  
Cooking-cuisines Whether used by the pinch or by the bunch, fresh herbs pull a recipe together by infusing the dish with unparalleled aromas and flavors.  Fresh herbs impart a purer and fresher flavor to foods than dried herbs, lose some of their essential oils during the drying process. 

Vitamins, Minerals, Essential Oils.  Herbs contain essential volatile oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene, and terpinolene and area good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.  Vital vitamins including folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, vitamin-C, are essential for optimum health, and can be found in fresh herbs. 

Sometimes, when the effect you seek is subtle, refined, and delicate, a hint of herbs is enough; other times, handfuls are required.  Whatever the recipe, fresh herbs bring any dish to life with robust flavor and are an excellent source for vitamins and minerals.  
Also known as “rocket,” arugula is a favorite salad herb that adds a sharp, peppery bite to mixed greens, sandwiches, and even pastas. Native to the Mediterranean, arugula grows in small bunches, similar to spinach.  With long, green leaves and flat, cream-colored flowers that blossom in the summer.
CHERVIL - Sometimes called “the gourmet’s parsley,” chervil looks very similar to parsley with its delicate, bright green leaves, but it tastes more like tarragon with a slightly peppery, anise flavor.  
It adds a subtle note of spicy sweetness to mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables, a dash of peppery pungency to soups and stews, and a hint of herbal earthiness to scrambled eggs and omelets.
CHIVES - Commonly confused with green onions or scallions, chives are a smaller, more tender herb with a fresh garlic taste.  The smallest species of the onion family, chives are often preferable to onions because they are less spicy and do not overwhelm mild flavors.  Resembling tall, thin strands of grass, chives are native to Asia, Europe, and North America.  Chive stalks produce star-shaped purple blossoms in early spring, which are edible and make a lovely addition to spring salads.
They can easily be added to pasta, stews, soups, salads and as a garnish just before serving -- adding a mild zing of garlic flavor without any cooking at all.  Mix chives into cream cheese or butter for an easy savory spread for bagels or toast.  
DILL - Native to the Mediterranean, Africa, and Eastern Europe, dill has delicate greenish-blue fronds similar in appearance to fennel fronds. But with a tart and savory zing, dill doesn’t share fennel’s licorice flavor. Bursting out in tiny yellow blossoms in late summer, dill adds its own unique taste to a wide variety of cuisines. 
Mixed with yogurt, cucumbers, lemon, mint, and dill, the Greek sauce ['tzatziki'] is perfect for gyro sandwiches, lamb kebabs, even grilled fish.  Dill is also delicious in Russian dishes like borscht - a creamy beef stew made with beetroot, onions, and lots of fresh dill.   Try mixing a little chopped fresh dill into cream cheese and spread on a toasted bagel - delicious.
EPAZOTE - Also known as Jesuit’s tea, Mexican tea, or wormseed, epazote is a self-seeding herb that grows long, pointed leaves with jagged edges.  Tasting of a cross between anise, lemon, and mint, epazote is commonly used in Mexican and Southwest cuisine.  Epazote breaks out in greenish yellow flowers in late summer.
Throw a sprig or two of epazote into black beans, beef chili, or chicken mole.  Stir it into posole and green chile stew, or add a sprig to a pan of sautéed corn and mushrooms.  
LEMON GRASS - is a tall, sturdy grass native to Southern Asia.  With fringed tips and a bulbous root, lemon grass can grow up to two feet in height.  Combining the fresh zing of citrus fruit with a hint of ginger, lemon grass is an essential flavor in traditional Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Malaysian, and Indonesian cooking.  Lemon grass is a delicious addition to homemade curries, noodle soups, and even smoothies.  Because lemon grass has a woody and somewhat stiff stalk, only the tenderest section of the stalk—the bottom two to three inches—should be used directly in cooking.
MARJORAM - is a Native to the Mediterranean and closely related to oregano, marjoram has small, gray-green leaves and a mild but sweet earthy flavor.  In summer, marjoram plants produce tight clusters of white blossoms and a fresh, piney scent.  Because it is a mild herb, marjoram works well in all kinds of soups, stews, and sautés, adding a bit of complexity without overwhelming other flavors.  If you want to feature marjoram more prominently in your cooking, try adding the leaves from a marjoram sprig to scrambled eggs, or mix freshly chopped marjoram with soft butter to create a delicious spread for biscuits and English muffins.

MINT - Both peppermint and spearmint have smooth, green teardrop-shaped leaves with jagged edges.  And while they taste slightly differently, they both have that fresh, crisp flavor which has made mint so popular in breath fresheners, cocktails, and desserts.  Refreshing in a fresh fruit salad, tossed with roasted or grilled vegetables for a simple side dish, and mint makes a wonderful and easy garnish for curries and other spicy dishes.  If you want to try something a bit more challenging, attempt a “raita” or mint chutney; simply blend mint, yogurt, garlic, salt, and chiles for a delicious accompaniment to South Asian dishes like butter chicken or curried eggplant.  And don’t forget, fresh mint is essential to any good mojito!
PARSLEY - There are two species of parsley commonly used for culinary purposes: curly parsley and Italian or flat-leaf parsley.  Both are green leafy herbs with a sweet, earthy flavor, and while some cooks find Italian parsley to be more flavorful, the two species are basically identical in taste.
Parsley's mild, grassy flavor allows the flavors of other ingredients to come through. Curly parsley is less assertive than flat-leaf parsley, and used as a garnish.  Flat leaf parsley is preferred for cooking as it stands up better to heat and has more flavor.  Use chopped parsley in pastas, meatballs, meatloaf, stews, soups, casseroles, sauces, poultry, roasted lamb, grilled steaks, fish, vegetables.  Add lemon or orange zest for a delicious final garnish.  

SAGE - Native to the Mediterranean region, sage has long, gray-green leaves that are soft to the touch.  Sage is a delicious herb to have in the kitchen.  With a distinctive sweet-and-savory flavor, sage is often used to season roasts, stews, and vegetable soups.  Sweet potato wedges par-boiled, wrapped & roasted with prosciutto and sage, make a wonderful autumn and winter hors d’oeuvre.  A few sage leaves can be thrown into pumpkin, squash, or lentil soups to great effect.  And a little bit of brown sage butter on pasta or ravioli turns a ho-hum dish into a dinner to remember.

SAVORY - There are two species generally used for culinary purposes, summer savory and winter savory. Summer savory and winter savory look fairly different, as summer savory grows long, delicate stems with soft, thin leaves and lavender-pink flowers while winter savory has a bushier growing pattern with short, shiny green leaves and white blossoms.  Summer savory also has a stronger peppery flavor than winter savory.
Both are delicious additions to soups, stews, marinades, and salads. Remember summer savory is stronger than winter savory, so if you’re using the summer species, you might consider using slightly less than a your recipe calls for.

SORRELL - There are two most commonly used for culinary purposes are garden sorrel and French sorrel. Both have long broad green leaves and look somewhat similar to spinach. With a tart and spicy bite, sorrel is a delicious addition to soups and stews and can even be sautéed and eaten alone as a side dish.  French sorrel, with a slightly milder flavor, is sometimes preferred over garden sorrel for cooking.  Sorrel leaves are tossed into salad mixes, soups, and stews to great effect. Combine sorrel leaves with bacon, onion, eggs, cream, and Gruyere cheese for a memorably delicious dinner quiche. A ready-made pie crust from the freezer section makes this an easy go-to dinner; adding freshly chopped thyme, savory, or marjoram, makes this quiche even more special.
TARRAGON - Tarragon is a small, bushy plant with long, thin, green leaves and wiry stems.  French tarragon, with its spicy licorice flavor, is the varietal most frequently used for culinary purposes, and there is a less flavorful varietal with longer, wider leaves known as Russian tarragon.  Besides being an unusual but delectable pairing for citrus fruit, tarragon’s vibrant and slightly spicy flavor adds excitement to normally mild foods like scrambled eggs, butter, cream cheese and buttermilk biscuits.  Tarragon chicken salad is a delicious twist on a classic recipe that can sometimes be a little bland. Combine shredded white meat chicken with fresh chopped celery, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and lots of fresh tarragon and parsley, and you’ll have a chicken salad that is both the best thing since sliced bread and its perfect accompaniment.
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Stirling Farms, 589 E Babylon Mill Rd, Leeds, UT 84746

David & Danielle Stirling
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