Cooking with fresh, seasonal herbs

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 1:00am

If you are an herb gardener, then you are surely in herb heaven right now.

In April perennial herbs began to peep through the wintered ground. In May we waited for the chance of frost to be over so we could fill our garden spaces with annual herbs. Now, outside the window, we see the fruits of a labor of love.

Chives are a foot high with wonderful rounded lavender blooms, shooting up through the bed of curly parsley. Basil, slow this year, is about three quarters of a foot high. If you have used a lot, cutting back the new growth for culinary use, then there are lovely clusters of sweet and purple basil.

Oregano shot up fast and despite the chipmunks beavering away, produced leggy stems of flavor. Rosemary did not make it through the harsh winter because it lives above ground, unlike other perennials, and is sensitive to subzero temperatures. New rosemary plants are smaller than ones that grow over the years, but the distinct taste is still there waiting to enhance those roasted potatoes. Thyme grows similar to any ground cover, providing rampant increase and short neat leaves.

Spearmint loves the side of the house where the hose lives and is a gardener

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