Cooking with Herbs

Simple Recipes and Guidelines for Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Each fall, Arizonans start planning herb gardens, fire up the grills for patio dining and enjoy getting outdoors. Turning the outdoor space into a home garden is a great way to embrace Arizona winters. Growing fresh herbs is simple, even in the smallest spaces.  

Sweet Italian or purple Thai basil has a floral sweetness with a hint of pepper. Cilantro (or coriander leaf) is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of spice, great for chimichurri sauce. Rosemary is ideal for adding flavor to meats and potatoes. Thyme is a French staple. Its tiny aromatic leaves add a beautiful floral note to dishes. Dill is tangy, ideal with salmon, yogurt and lemon. Oregano, used in most Italian dishes, offers a peppery, earthy flavor. 

If you prefer to purchase herbs, buy them close to the time you plan to use them. Wash them, wrap in a damp paper towel and place in a ziplock bag. Store on your refrigerator door or top shelf. 

City Lifestyle editor Angela Broockerd shares a few recipes using fresh herbs.


This is a versatile butter and goes with just about anything. Use this on top of bread, popcorn, veggies, as a sandwich spread and more. 


  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon herb of your choice (dill, basil or oregano are my go-to herbs)

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Cracked pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a food processor (or mix by hand in a bowl). Transfer butter mixture on parchment paper or plastic wrap. Cover butter tightly and roll into a log. Place in refrigerator until firm. Enjoy!


Chimichurri is a condiment you can use on endless things, and you can enjoy it as a sauce or dip. Serve over fish, chicken, vegetables or with crackers. 


  • ½ cup olive oil (or flax oil for added omega 3 nutrition)

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or lemon juice as an alternative)

  • ½  to 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely

  • ¼ cup fresh basil or cilantro 

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 1 small red chili or 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Pepper to taste


Finely chop fresh herbs and add to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Chill for 1 to 2 hours and enjoy.

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