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Cooking with Herbs   arrow

Written by: Laura Griffin, Family and Consumer Science Agent, CSU Extension-Pueblo County

Herbs are a fun and easy way to add flavor and variety to many different dishes, particularly during the summer months.  Herbs are versatile, in that they can be used fresh, dried or even frozen.  Typically, fresh herbs are going to offer the most texture and color to your dishes.  Dried herbs provide the strongest flavor, because when dehydrated, the flavor is concentrated into a smaller portion.  Frozen herbs can be used as a convenient way to flavor various soups, chilies and casseroles.  They can also be frozen into ice cube trays to provide flavor to your water, lemonade or iced tea.  Try it with mint, basil, thyme and others!

Although herbs don’t provide significant nutritional value to your meal, they can help you to reduce the need for other flavor agents such as salt, sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Below are just a few recipes to help incorporate herbs into your everyday meals.

Oven-Roasted Vegetables with Herbs
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 garlic head, separated into cloves and peeled
¼ cup minced fresh rosemary
¼ cup minced fresh thyme
3 tbs olive oil


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well to ensure adequate olive oil coating.
  3. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until vegetables are golden brown and tender. Stir occasionally.


Herbed Cucumber and Tomato Salad
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp chopped oregano
1 ½ lbs cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs fresh mint leaves
2 tbs fresh parsley leaves
2 tbs chopped dillweed
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mint, parsley, dillweed and vinegar mixture in a large bowl.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Top with feta cheese.


Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
4 boneless chicken breast halves
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped tarragon
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet.
  3. Brown chicken on both sides.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. In a separate pan, stir together cream, mustard and tarragon.
  6. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Coat chicken with sauce and enjoy.


From the Ground Up, Summer 2020