Tag Archive for: Herb Tips

Citrus Herbs for Your Garden

Citrus Flavors From 8 Easy to Grow Herbs

Fresh, bright and invigorating, the scent and flavor of citrus is most enjoyable for many gardeners, especially where citrus trees are not a possibility. Several different herbs and flowers have a pleasing citrusy scent or flavor – either lemon, lime or orange – either as the main fragrance or as a delicate note that brightens the scent.

Popular for teas, sachets, aromatherapy, and recipes, they bring a bright, cheerful flavor to dishes like pasta, fish, and chicken.

If you are looking to add a lovely citrusy aroma to your garden, here are eight herbs to consider!

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm leaves

A proud member of the mint family, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is native to Europe and the Mediterranean and, if allowed, will spread into unwanted areas of your garden. It’s easy enough to contain in a planter or large container, or simply give it an area that it can fill in and be happy. Hardy to USDA Zone 5, it grows to about 2’ tall with abundant crinkled leaves and tiny white or pale blue flowers that attract a surprising amount of pollinators, given how petite the flowers are.

Rubbing the leaves brings out the lemon scent, and walking by the plant on a warm day repels biting insects. The scent is crisp, clean, and forward – you immediately get the heady fresh lemon-rind aroma that is very refreshing. Grow in part shade with moist soil or sunnier spots in cooler areas.

Harvest the leaves like basil with several cuttings during the season, and dry them to preserve that summer flavor into the winter, or chop the leaves and freeze in ice cubes for a lemony punch in iced teas or other drinks.

Lime Balm

Lime Balm
Lime Balm leaves and flower

As you might expect, lime balm (Melissa officinalis ‘Lime’) is closely related to lemon balm, except with a flavor tilted towards the lime spectrum. Some gardeners experience it as a lemon-lime, while others comment on it being exceptionally limey, so soil and climate can make a difference in the scent and flavor.

Grow as you would lemon balm to raise the spirit and lift the heart!

Lemon Bee Balm

Lemon Bee Balm
Lemon Bee Balm flowers

Completely different than the above two balms, lemon bee balm (Monarda citriodora) is both the perfect name and description of this highly fragrant plant. Being downwind of a thick stand will make you think you’ve come across a hidden lemon grove, then multitudes of hummingbirds and butterflies draw your eye to hundreds of minuscule compound flowers, stacked one on top of the other, marching up the stem. As you draw closer, the bees appear, covering the flowers in an intricate dance from flower to flower.

Both the leaves and flowers are used; making refreshing, calming lemon-scented teas and potpourri. The stalks make excellent additions to flower arrangements, both fresh and dried.

This annual native is fairly cold hardy, rarely killed by winter cold, surviving by underground rhizomes. They can spread in moderate climates, so use planters or pots to keep them contained, or give them an area of their own.


Lemongrass plant

A favorite in Asian cooking, lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) looks similar to bunchgrass but with a pleasantly strong lemon scent and flavor. It has the same volatile oils as lemon rind, with the same fresh, clean, citrus flavor and scent. Easy to grow in pots and containers for cooler climates, lemongrass loves the heat thanks to its tropical origins.

Harvest by cutting a stalk at the outside of the clump near the base, leaving the rest to continue growing. Lemongrass is best used fresh, as it loses some of its lemony pungency when dried or frozen. This is why many gardeners will grow a pot of lemongrass for fresh use, moving it outside in the spring and summer, then bringing it inside for the fall and winter.

We love to ferment fresh lemongrass with chiles and garlic to make a delicious paste for Asian cooking.

Insect repellent booster –

Plant lemongrass and lemon balm together to double their individual insect-repellent powers!

Just standing in arms reach should be enough to fend off the worst of the biting bugs – consider planting a large pot to place near your summer barbeques.

They’re effective against mosquitos, gnats, and wasps, and you can break off a couple of leaves to rub on your skin or clothing to take the protection with you.

Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil
Lemon Basil leaves and seed pods

All of the flavor that makes basil such a beloved herb with a lemony punch gives lemon basil (Ocimum americanum) an exciting flavor to explore in the kitchen. Lemon and basil go well together, and this combines the best of both.

Heat-loving and repellant to biting insects, it makes a wonderfully different pesto and adds a boost of flavor to soups and stocks. As with other basil varieties, the flavor is at its peak when fresh-picked, but drying will retain some of the citrus aromas. Once it starts flowering, let some of the stalks go to seed to use as a spice and flavoring in salads, on sandwiches, and in summer iced tea.

This is another great candidate for growing in pots or containers that can be brought inside in cold weather to brighten up a winter dish.

Orange Scented Thyme

Orange Scented Thyme
Orange Scented Thyme leaves and blossoms

A cousin to English Thyme with all of the complex flavors that makes it a garden favorite, yet orange scented thyme (Thymus fragrantissimus) packs a refreshing orange-mint fragrance in every leaf. The orange flavor follows the familiar thyme, adding complexity and interest to summer dishes. Use it in almost any recipe calling for traditional thyme where an orange undertone would be appreciated.

Harvest the sprigs before flower set for the highest essential oil content, allowing them to air dry for storage. Use both fresh and dried leaves to make a traditional thyme tea with a twist to soothe sore throats.

Nutmeg Flower/Black Cumin

Nutmeg Flower/Black Cumin
Nutmeg Flower/Black Cumin

Rightfully called “The cure for everything but death”, nutmeg flower (Nigella sativa) shows off with blankets of gorgeous tiny blue-tinted flowers that produce the seeds that made them famous. The seeds are used as a spice for flavorings and medicinally for ailments. Also called Four Spice for its lemon-carrot scent followed by strawberry-pepper taste, it has flavored curries, breads, and cakes since ancient times.

Nutmeg flower prefers well-drained soil in full sun, and can often be found growing wild in rocky ground, fallow fields and scrubland. Because of its hardiness, it’s easy to grow and is often recommended for beginning gardeners, children, and low maintenance gardens.

French Sorrel

French Sorrel
French Sorrel leaves

Known to many Europeans as the lemonade leaf, French sorrel (Rumex scutatus) is prized by chefs and is indispensable in French cuisine. The sour-citrus taste has been prized throughout the world for thousands of years as a wake-up call for taste buds dulled by bland winter foods.

Very hardy and early growing, sorrel was often one of the first fresh greens people ate each spring in the days before refrigeration. It is still a popular ingredient in spring tonics, and ancient Greeks and Romans used the herb to promote digestion.

Each one of these herbs is easy to grow in a container or pot, so no matter where you live the bright, refreshing flavors of citrus can be yours with little work and lots of rewards!

Indoor Herbs

Growing herbs indoors is one of the easiest ways to capture the flavors of summertime any time of year, but especially during the middle of the winter. Many of the culinary herbs used in cooking will happily grow on a windowsill or space next to a south facing window, bringing color, aroma and freshness to an often-dreary winter. With just a snip or two, you’ll have fresh aromatic flavors for your dishes.

Herbs have been helping us for thousands of years; from medicinal and cultural uses, to dyeing fabric, repelling insects, seasoning foods, making teas and scenting rooms while providing colorful decorations. We can put many of these same qualities to use in a small indoor herb garden.

They make excellent container plants, needing little attention past good light, healthy soil and minimal water. In getting started, it is best to plant one herb per pot to give them enough space without crowding. Smaller pots can be as small as four inches across, with six to eight inches being more ideal for longer lived plants.

There are very few things that indoor herbs need to thrive:

Good light

For the best growth and flavor, herbs need as much natural light as possible. Ideally, place them in or near a south facing window so they can get direct sunlight. If that isn’t possible, a south east or south west window with good strong indirect light should work. You’ll know if they need a bit more light as the plants will be smaller and a bit pale. If needed, a broad spectrum or “daylight” portable fluorescent light can be used.

Good drainage

Most common herbs used in the kitchen are Mediterranean in origin, so they won’t tolerate their roots being in standing water. Clay pots will drain quickly; but they are also porous and may dry out the soil in some climates, while glazed pottery or plastic pots will prevent this. A plate, saucer or other catch basin is important to prevent the water drainage from leaking out and damaging a counter top or windowsill.

Good soil

High quality potting soil can usually provide herbs with the nutrition needed throughout a winter growing season, but you might want to re-pot them with fresh soil in the summer or fall if you plan on keeping the herbs going longer.

Getting started couldn’t be easier! To begin, choose herbs for fresh ingredients or seasonings for what you like to cook. You might start with only two or three herbs or be adventurous and choose five or six. Remember, it is easier to start small and increase the number of herbs once you’ve got the hang of growing them inside.

If you are having a hard time choosing, it’s hard to go wrong with basil, oregano, thyme or sage. All of these are hardy and easy to grow, tolerating less than ideal conditions and a little occasional neglect. If you’ve not experienced fresh herbs, you’ll be surprised at how just a tiny bit of fresh herb will liven up an everyday, otherwise boring dish!

Let’s look at a few herbs in more detail which are ideally suited to an indoor kitchen environment!


Genovese BasilFew herbs are as easy to grow indoors or have as much to give to a kitchen’s atmosphere, aroma and flavors as the humble basil plant. Prolific, delicious and aromatic, a medium sized basil plant can brighten up a kitchen all by itself.

Start from seed and pick or clip leaves as needed for dishes, but don’t forget to use the flowers and seeds as seasonings when they appear. The flowers have a much more intense scent and flavor than the leaves, making them ideal for garnishes, soups and stews when added in the last few minutes of cooking. The seeds can be dried, saved and ground like black pepper giving a citrusy basil note to dishes.

There are several different varieties of basil to choose from – sweet and luscious Genovese, the traditional Italian pesto basil; bright citrusy lemon or lime basil; the very aptly named clove basil or the intense Thai basil.


True Greek OreganoThis herb is hardy enough to be found in many European cottage gardens, almost completely ignored in cultivation and sometimes having grown in the same patch for a couple of decades.

Always sweetly aromatic and flavorful, one whiff or taste of fresh oregano will immediately make you wonder why you put up with the bland dried commercial stuff for so long.

Easy to start from seed, may take a bit of time to get established but will live for several seasons or longer with minimal needs. There are several varieties, but we’ve found the flavor and scent of the True Greek oregano strain to be the best – sweet and flavorful with a good pungency that doesn’t fall over into bitterness.


English ThymeAnother ancient herb, thyme is tough enough to be used as a ground cover that can be walked on and mowed! Thyme goes with almost all foods – meats, poultry, fish, stuffing, stews, vegetable dishes, cheese, eggs and rice. Just a little bit brightens up the food without taking over the flavor stage.

Thyme fits in really well in a kitchen setting because it is a naturally small plant and is very hardy and undemanding. Starting from seed is as easy as lightly pressing a few seeds into the damp soil and keeping it well watered until the seedlings appear. After that, keep the soil barely moist and enjoy!



Common SageOne of the classic foundational herbs in Thanksgiving stuffing, sage can do so much more for other dishes. It was values so highly by the Chinese that they would trade four pounds of Chinese tea for one pound of French sage, to be used for tea.

Sage is a small fragrant perennial shrub, making it well suited to the kitchen garden and windowsill. It is more commonly used dried today, but once again, the first whiff and taste of fresh sage will leave you cold on the common dried offerings.

Traditionally used to balance and moderate the fats and heavy flavors of rich, meaty foods, sage also works wonders in adding strength and depth to the sometimes bland flavors of a winter vegetarian dish.

Toasted or pan-fried sage leaves are an appetizer all of themselves, topping aged cheese slices or crushed on roasted winter squash soup.

Garlic Chives

Garlic ChivesThese mildly garlic-flavored chives are perennial and grow happily in all but the coldest climates, making them a perfect fit for the kitchen. Looking much like a stand of grass, just one or two stalks will give a lighter dish interest and a few will liven up soups or stews in winter.

To keep the chives producing, snip the stems down at the base.






If you can’t decide on which herbs to start with, or want some for the kitchen and a larger selection for the outdoor herb garden, our Kitchen Herb Collection could help. Containing eight herbs – most of which will do well in the kitchen – along with a short 32 page guide to get you started, this will give you plenty of seed to start indoors and have a great herb garden in the spring.

Mature Dill Seeds

Homegrown dill is delicious, easy to grow and easy to harvest. We’ll show you how! One thing to remember – you want to harvest almost mature dill seeds, not the green ones or the completely dry ones. The green ones won’t have the flavor you are looking for and the dry ones will have already dropped most of their seeds, giving you much less seed than you bargained for!

Dill Harvest Tools First you need a few simple tools:






Puppy in a Basket
Next, you might want to consider some accessories! Puppies make the job much more fun!





Mature Dill Seeds
Seriously, though, harvesting the dill seeds couldn’t be much simpler, even with puppy assistance. What you are looking for is almost-dry seeds like this:





Green Dill with Ladybugs This is what the green or immature seeds look like, along with some very welcome Ladybugs!





Dill Seed Stalk
Simply snip off the almost-mature seed stalk,





Dill Seeds in Box
and drop it into the box you’ve brought. Some of the more mature and dried seeds are on the bottom, having fallen off when the seed head or umbel hit the bottom of the box.





Dill Seeds Closeup
This is what the seeds and one of the smaller umbels look like:





Once you’ve collected all of the dill seed, store the box in a room where it can finish drying for a couple of weeks. Then bounce the seed heads on the bottom of the box a few times to get the rest of the seeds to drop, empty the box into a storage container and you have dill seed for the winter and next year!

Lavender with Bee

Lavender Aromatherapy Soothes People, Horses and Dogs

Lavender has been used to soothe and heal people for a long time, dating back to at least the Egyptians where it was commonly used in daily life. Not only does the fragrance refresh and soothe our senses, but the scent or aroma molecules pass to the limbic area of the brain directly from the nose. The limbic area deals with instinct and emotion as well as many of the body’s autonomic systems, such as the immune system. This is one of the primary ways that inhaling lavender essential oils helps to calm us down and restore a sense of peace. This aromatherapy is also highly effective with the animals we share our lives with.

Aromatherapy is the use of specific plant essential oils to enhance physical and psychological well-being. As a therapy it has been proven with use dating back thousands of years. Essential oils are distilled from specific plants and are 100% pure aromatic oils. Some oils are especially potent and are highly valued for their benefits and concentrations of essential oils. Lavender from Provence, France is one such oil as it is grown in the high altitude and harsh climate where the lavender plants respond to the environmental stresses by producing higher than normal amounts of protective oils, which give us benefits when the flower buds are harvested and distilled. Another source of high-altitude lavender oil from the United States is Red Rock Lavender, grown outside of Concho, AZ with a climate that is very similar to Provence. The essential oils produced in Concho are the second most potent in the world behind that from Provence.

It must be noted that there is some confusion due to exceedingly clever marketing on aromatherapy oils. As a result, many people have the mistaken idea that any kind of perfumed scent is aromatherapy. This is not true. Synthetic oils, often labeled “fragrance oils,” are not the same as essential oils. There is no therapeutic effect on the body like with true distilled essential oils. If you are buying essential oils, make sure to source them from a reputable company and that the oils are true, therapeutic grade essential oils and not fragrance oils.

Another approach is to grow your own lavender. It is a hardy perennial in most parts of the United States, with several different varieties that are suited to different climates. You can buy starts and transplant them or start your own from seed. Once your lavender plants are established, you will have an abundance of lavender sprays for many uses!

Aromatherapy is a little different for animals than for humans, with the main difference being the sense of smell that most animals have over humans. Animals have a much more acute sense of scent than we do, so the amount of oil or scent will need to be reduced by 2/3 for a start to see how the response is. It is much easier to increase the amount bit by bit than to overwhelm their nostrils on the first whiff!

A word of caution is needed here, as some essential oils can be toxic to cats. Certain essential oils naturally contain phenols and should never be used with cats. Their liver does not produce the enzymes to digest these compounds allowing them to build up to toxic levels in their systems. It is safer to avoid using aromatherapy with cats, unless you are working with a skilled aromatherapist with experience and knowledge in working with cats.

Lavender is well known for its effectiveness in calming people, horses and dogs. There are many studies that show the immediate and intermediate positive effects that lavender has on sensitive, stressed, anxious animals. Both horses and dogs respond very well to the scent of lavender with decreased heart rate and respiration, a calmer posture, less shaking and pacing or other nervous behavior. Spray some essential oil on a cloth or the dog’s bed before a car trip to ease stress, just before thunderstorms and for separation anxiety. You can also put a few drops on a cloth and tie it to the dog’s collar for a longer-lasting effect. For horses, a cloth with a couple of drops to introduce the new scent to them will usually have a beneficial effect. After they are used to the aroma, it is easy to let them inhale the scent off of a cloth that is kept for that purpose. They can benefit from a cloth hung in the trailer before a trailer loading session, before and during a road trip – adding a few drops of oil if needed during fuel or rest stops.

One other benefit of lavender essential oil is it is a highly effective insect repellent for both horses and dogs. The same properties that make it a pleasing and relaxing aroma for us and our animals make it the ideal insect repellent. Just add 10 – 15 drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle and fill with water, shake well and apply! Make sure to avoid the eyes, but all other parts of the body are ok.

Free-range Chickens

Raising backyard chickens is becoming increasingly popular, no matter where you live. There have always been rural chickens, but now there are small and large city chickens, happily living in coops and backyards all across the country. Chickens can do a lot for you, both in the garden and in the kitchen. First off, they give you a real measure of food security and increase your resiliency. The eggs are a great bartering tool, as very few folks that we’ve talked to weren’t interested in some fresh home-raised eggs. Chickens are great for bug control, light soil tilling and fertilization. The chicken manure is very high in Nitrogen and is a great addition to your compost. Home raised eggs are some of the highest nutritional content of any chickens, including free-range. The reason is that most home raised chickens are pampered and given extra nutrition and care. It is very easy to provide a highly nutritious and healthy diet for your backyard chickens from your home garden. We will look at several heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers that you can easily grow in your garden that will not only provide some tasty treats for your chickens, but give you some great greens as well.

Almost any of the greens and vegetables that you enjoy your chickens will love. You have probably seen them get really excited if you share salad fixings or old veggies from your refrigerator. Think of how they will get when they know that the garden is providing treats for them all of the time! You don’t have to plant a special garden just for the chickens, as they will happily devour any greens that come their way.

The question is often asked of why grow your chicken’s food, why not just buy the 50lb. bag of chicken scratch and call it good? There is nothing wrong with going this route, and realistically you will most likely need to have some commercial feed available as your garden may or may not produce enough greens and grains for your flock. This will vary depending on the size of your garden compared to the size of your flock. The real answer to growing fresh greens for your chickens is the same answer as to why you would want to grow your own garden- taste, nutrition and choice.

Spring Chicken

Spring Chicken

Let’s look at several varieties of vegetables and herbs that are easily grown in a home garden setting that will provide some tasty and highly nutritious greens for both you and your birds. Starting off in the cooler season with some cold-hardy greens will help jump-start the hens energy levels. Kale, Swiss Chard, mustard greens and beet tops are a great start to the season. They all like a cooler soil, sprout quickly and will provide some serious nutrition. Speaking of sprouting, sprouts are an absolute powerhouse of nutrition and are ready to eat in 4-7 days. Alfalfa sprouts are possibly the best known, but there are several different types of sprouts such as radish, mung bean and red clover that work well. Sprouts take up minimal space, use little water and need only the most basic equipment to produce a couple of pounds of fresh food. This is a technique that works especially well in the depths of winter when other greens are scarce and expensive. You can produce plenty of sprouts for yourself and a half dozen chickens from a half gallon jar with a sprouting screen lid on your kitchen sink.

Once the weather starts warming up more options open up for different vegetables and greens. Cabbage, chicory, mustards, spinach and a number of greens do well in the early spring once the soil has started warming up. These include Miner’s Lettuce, French Purslane and Aztec Red Spinach. Once the true spinach starts to bolt in the warmer weather, switch to the spinach substitutes such as red and green malabar spinach, the Aztec Red spinach and New Zealand spinach. All of these love the heat, won’t bolt and produce all through the hotter weather. Traditional winter cover crops such as alfalfa, clover, vetch and annual rye should be considered for later in the year.

If you have the space, pumpkins and squash- both summer and winter- can be excellent feed choices. Winter squash and pumpkins that can be stored until later in the winter give you an additional resource for high quality feed when nothing else is growing. Corn is another great choice, space permitting, as it is the base for the commercial feeds. Other grains that will grow well in a smaller home garden set up is Mennonite Sorghum, Amaranth and Quinoa. Don’t forget Sunflowers, as they can provide both shade and a wind break for your garden along with seeds for your girls.

Many folks don’t think of herbs when it comes to providing food for chickens, but there are some great choices here. Borage is one such, as it has lots of mineral-rich leaves as well as flowers that are edible and make excellent additions to a chicken’s diet. Comfrey is in the Borage family and is another great choice.

To help you get started, we have created a section on our website called “Backyard Chickens Collection”, appropriately enough. We list all of the varieties that are mentioned in this article to save you the time of looking throughout the website to find them. It is really easy to incorporate the chicken feed aspect into your existing gardening plan. Planting one or two extra plants of each variety for each half dozen chickens is usually sufficient, with grains such as Amaranth and sunflowers going almost exclusively to the chickens. As with most things gardening related, a little experimentation will prove the way as you see what volumes of fresh garden produce you particular flock of chickens needs.

We are back from the Red Rock Lavender Festival, having met some wonderful people and loving the lavender scents for 4 days. While we were there, we picked up some Herbes de Provence and Herbes de Concho that are made at Red Rock Ranch. The high altitude, sparse soil and dry Mediterranean climate play a major part in the intensity of the scent and flavor of the lavender in their Herbes mix.

The amazing thing about Herbes de Provence is the adaptability of the mixture in so many culinary applications- from grilled, roasted or baked meats, to stews, soups and grilled or roasted vegetables, Herbes de Provence adds a depth of flavor and aroma that is unique and heady. Another interesting thing is the broad spectrum of ingredients that make up the Herbes mixture. The basic and classic mixture is equal parts dried Oregano, Thyme, Summer Savory and Lavender buds, mixed well. From this basis several other recipes have evolved, with both individual and regional preferences showing up. Many of the mixtures involve classical, foundation spices that are used in French and classical European cuisines. Some will argue that the essential ingredient is Lavender, while others will say that it’s exclusion does not lessen the mixture, and even enhances it in certain dishes. I’m not going to get into that argument, but will say that the Provence region is world famous for its Lavender, thus its inclusion into the Herbes de Provence.

This is the time of year to start selecting, harvesting and drying your garden herbs for the coming year. Rosemary has starting blooming and is incredibly fragrant now, as is Sage, Oregano, Basil, Thyme and almost all of the culinary herbs.  Selecting the best leaves from the herbs and drying them in small batches starting now gives you plenty of time to accumulate the volume of dried herbs needed to not only have enough for general cooking, but will give you enough to make some mixtures that use foundational herbs without depleting your stocks. Starting now also gives you the time to do smaller batches, being more selective in quality instead of having to just pick what is available to do a large, rushed batch later in the Fall as the weather starts shutting the garden down. Ask me how I know… Plus it’s wonderful to improvise tonights dinner from the herbs and vegetables picked today from your garden!

The following recipes should be considered a starting point, not the definitive, final recipe. Use your tastes and flavor combination preferences as a guide, and adjust amount and types of herbs accordingly. How else do you think that so many variations on the theme evolved?

I will share several other recipes for the mixture below, as well as some ideas for using them. Dried herbs are important, as fresh herbs will lose their flavor in about 20 minutes of cooking.

Classic Herbes de Provence

Equal parts of the following dried herbs:



Summer Savory

Lavender buds

Mix well and store in an air tight container. Keeps for 3-6 months, depending on humidity and temperature.

Variations on Herbes de Provence

1 tsp thyme
1 tsp summer savory
1/2 tsp lavender buds
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp oregano or basil (or both)
1/4 tsp sage

1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp summer savory
1/2 tsp lavender buds
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp oregano

2 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp French tarragon
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp summer savory
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp lavender buds

1 tbs thyme
1 tbs chervil
1 tbs rosemary
1 tbs summer savory
1 tsp lavender buds
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp mint
2 powdered or chopped bay leaves

You can crush the mix prior to adding it to olive oil for a marinade or dressing. Add in crushed dried red chiles for a new taste dimension. Mix with homemade mayonnaise for a real taste treat.

Herbes de Provence/ Bleu Cheese Burgers

Mix lean hamburger meat with high quality Bleu cheese at a ratio of 3/4 meat to 1/4 cheese. Form into patties, dust liberally with Herbes de Provence mixture that has  been crushed with fresh ground black pepper and salt, let sit for 20 minutes and grill till done.  Make sure to make extras!

Marinated Herbes de Provence Steaks

The flavors will really be enhanced if you use grass fed beef.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Herbes de Provence

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients well, coat both sides of steaks, let sit covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Grill to taste. Optional- make 1/2 recipe extra to top steaks when served. Can add sprinkle of Gorgonzola cheese to top of hot steak as well.

Herbes de Provence Garlic Bread

1/4 cup Herbes de Provence

1/2 cup softened butter

3-6 large cloves freshly minced garlic

Fresh sourdough bread

Mix Herbes with butter and garlic. For more garlic flavor- use more cloves. Optional- roast the peeled garlic cloves prior to mincing for a richer, mellower flavor. Lightly spread butter on both sides of thickly sliced bread, bake in 400F oven for 3-5 minutes or until just turning golden brown.

Hopefully you can start to see the versatility of the magical Herbes de Provence. You are only limited by your tastes and creativity!