My pastor’s wife invited us to dinner the other night – a Monday night. Most weeks, I’m not prepared for Mondays, let alone putting the thought into a menu for the evening meal so this was a most welcome invitation right after I arrived at work to start my Monday! She’s an amazing cook and their home is so inviting and cozy. I love going over and seeing her latest additions and updates. I hated to show up empty-handed so I put together a simple, heartfelt bouquet of fresh herb cuttings. Now, if you ask me – this is way better than flowers because of course they smell amazing and they are useful! Popped into a pint mason jar with a hand-tied bow, this little bunch is a unique hostess gift.
My go-to favorite herbs are rosemary (in the back of the above image) and lemon thyme (seen in the front). Both perennials and easy to grow (at least here in Arkansas – zone 7), I can almost harvest year round. I add rosemary, an evergreen shrub, to roasted chicken dishes and we love it on potatoes as well. One of our favorite summer meals is a roasting pan full of summer’s bounty (including a sprinkling of whichever of these scrumptious herbs I’m in the mood for) cooked on the grill to keep from heating up the house. I’ll share that recipe later.
Lemon thyme is a bit milder and complements all veggies, chicken and even fish. I loved to braise brussel sprouts in olive oil (cast iron skillet makes them extra roasty toasty) and then sprinkle on a bit of fresh lemon thyme for a zesty finish. Lemon thyme is a great low-growing ground cover too. You can see in the above image how much mine has spread out over the last couple of years from that small planting up top.