Top Five of the Month Contest – March: Fresh Herbs

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chop with a Yogurt Herb Sauce and Grilled PitaThe contest has ended for this month. Come on back next month for a new “Top 5”! Check out Top 5 Herbs winner here.

Spring hasn’t exactly sprung yet here in Brooklyn. The trees are still bare and are showing no signs of sprouting anything. Even the crocuses, let alone the daffodils, remain mostly tuberly and dormant.

Nonetheless, there are some signs of the changing season as our long-suffering chives are poking through all bright green and soft, and our tough little tarragon plant is also making a comeback. And, it’s these weak, but brave, first signs that we’re clinging to in order to retain sanity at the end of what seems like a very long and cold winter.

So, with these hints of verdant optimism poking through the bare earth, we’re looking ahead to the increasing bounty of our tiny garden, and asking you to nominate your Top Five favorite herbs. This month’s winner will receive a package including various herb seeds and a cookbook/guidebook to growing your own essential culinary flavorings.  Click here to read the rules of our monthly top five giveaways.

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chop with a Yogurt Herb Sauce and Grilled Pita

Amy & Jonny’s Favorite Herbs:

  1. tarragon
  2. chives
  3. lavender
  4. thyme
  5. sorrel

roasted herb and lavender-stuffed standing pork roast
If spring has already sprung where you are, why not try our very delicious recipe for Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chop with a Yogurt Herb Sauce and Grilled Pita or this Lavender & Herb de Provence-stuffed Pork Rib Roast?  How about a simple and healthy Artichokes Stuffed with Parsely, Garlic and Parmigiano?

Think spring, readers! Think spring.

Check out WANF’s other Top 5 contests and winners here.

45 thoughts on “Top Five of the Month Contest – March: Fresh Herbs

  1. Your lamb looks so very inviting! I need to try lamb soon.

    I have to say that tarragon is one of my favorite herbs. It is so romantic and somehow sexy to me. It subtly calls up France and a small sidewalk cafe.

    But what would I do with out basil. So fresh. So spring. The smell makes you feel lighter, happier….

    So I guess I should say:
    1. tarragon
    2. basil
    3. cilantro

  2. I like the related posts wordpress generates. Geez look at all those gorgeous pictures! Any suggestions for a pot to a pot luck? Keep in mind I’m unskilled but don’t wish to appear a fool ( I always take deviled eggs or bring the plastic forks).

  3. That’s some lovely lamb! My favorite herbs, all of which I grow in my garden:
    1. cilantro
    2. basil
    3. Italian parsley
    4. oregano
    5. thyme
    I cannot cook if I don’t have those on hand!

  4. I can’t wait for my garden herbs to be in the ground!

    I always have pots on the driveway filled with my favorites:

    Basil…………BIG ASS POT of it
    Rosemary………….I can even winter it over in the garage
    Cilantro………doesn’t do well in the heat, but I plant it anyway
    Parsley………..must have for everything
    Mint……………..mojitos all summer long!

    Your lamb looks amazing!

  5. OK, here we go:

    Thyme – infinitely versatile and easy to grow
    Rosemary – beautiful, beutiful herb. Bitter and unique.
    Parsley – flat leaf, Italian, naturally. Goes on everything.
    Bay leaves – subtle and robust flavours.
    Coriander/cilantro – no Asian cooking possible without it.

    Everybody should grow herbs. There should be some law about it or something.

  6. I see we both have spring fever! The crocuses here in D.C. are actually in full bloom and gorgeous, which is making me even more anxious for the warm weather. Tarragon is my all time favorite herb. I will never get tired of it. That lamb dish looks incredible!

  7. I’m thrilled to see tarragon on so many top 5 lists… it’s certainly on mine!

    In no particular order:
    1. Tarragon
    2. Thyme
    3. Basil
    4. Sage
    5. Mint

  8. 1. parsley (cook with it in vast quantities)
    2. bay leaf (somehow ends up in so many of my dishes)
    3. cilantro (i am fully in the cilantro lover camp)
    4. basil (spells s-u-m-m-e-r to me)
    5. thyme (old reliable)

    the herb I have started to use this year and want to get to know better: savory

    the herb I have never used and want to find and try: sorrel

  9. hola hola hola… i was just thinking about u today when u left a comment. miss talking to u girlie… love the 2nd pic, i wanna jump through the screen and bite. damn!

    so my top five:
    1. basil
    2. oregano
    3. mint (chocolate mint, too!)
    4. tarragon
    5. coriander
    by the way, did u read that i’m interviewing Chef Jeff tomorrow? Let me know if there’s anything you want me to ask him! I’m soo looking forward to it..passing u a mojito!

  10. Hi – I recently found your blog, and really enjoy your musings, very inspirational!! Thought I’d share my top 5 herbaceous plants for the day, they change constantly, but right now I want:
    eruca (rocket/ruccola)
    tagetes – perhaps not strictly a herb, but …!

    (And I totally agree on #1 crisps, s’n’v:-) Nothing beats that!)

  11. I went for a hike yesterday here in Westchester and saw a few snowbells peeking through. The herbs that I always have around are Thai basil, mint, flat leaf parsley, thyme and rosemary.

  12. Flat leaf parsley (not my favorite until I came to italy – big bunch please)
    Rosemary (the buggers get caught in your teeth but who cares)
    sage (with butter whenever possible, love the mustyness)
    mint (wild please)
    curly english parsley
    At the market in Rome odori are given to you free with your shopping at the market, along with a carrot and some celery. Depending on what you are cooking they chuck the appropriate herbs in your bag…ahhhh.

  13. Hard to concentrate on herbs with those beautiful hunks of meat and mine seem to be the same as everyone else. I think that’s because these are the most accessible to most of us. Occasionally, you can find something different at a green market but for local produce stores and/or supermarkets:
    1. BASIL
    2. Italian flat leaf parsley
    3. Cilantro
    4. Rosemary
    5. Chives

  14. 1. Basil – what would I ever do without it?
    2. Rosemary
    3. Mint
    4. Oregano
    5. Cilantro

    Those are my favorites that I use most often, but I also love lavender, sage, and thyme. Mmmmmm, herbs!

  15. Only 5? Ok then…

    Flat leaf parsley – friend to all.
    Fresh coriander, often to be found loitering with ginger and garlic.
    Tomato’s best friend basil.
    Rosemary for the savoury *and* sweet things you can do with it – honey and rosemary ice-cream anyone?
    Mint, with lime in salads, infused as tea, and in mojitos of course.

  16. Oh! I’ve got this one!
    & Thyme!
    (everybody knows that!)
    …and garlic 🙂

    Hi Amy and Jonny! Those photos are looking mighty fine!

  17. So simple, so delicious…herbs change everything. Mouthwaterings pics!
    I think my fav. herbs would be
    *different basils – for salads and tomato meals in summer…
    *dill – for fish and seafoods…
    *thyme- for meat and veggies…
    *mint – for desserts and cool drinks and salads
    *wild roquette – for salads and soups, veggies, just about everything…

  18. I know I can’t win twice, but my herbs are:

    1. Fennel fronds
    2. Pineapple sage
    3. Thyme (the flowers are so nice too)
    4. Winter savory
    5. Lemon balm

    I am jonesing hard for a nibble of that lamb. I’m making some with nettle pesto pretty soon.

  19. I am soooo trying that lamb one night soon. As for the Top Five, here’s mine:
    1. Rosemary
    2. Sage
    3. Basil
    4. Lavender
    5. Oregano

  20. UK had an awful winter and I never thought it was going to get warm again but in the last week or so things brightened up a bit and the daffodils are popping out everywhere which is just lovely and sends the message that there is a ray of hope!

    Favourite herbs? Errrm….uhhh…let me think…
    3)Chives – especially the flowers

  21. I’m totally drooling over that lamb.
    As for me and herbs, I’d have to vote for:
    1. Rosemary
    2. Basil (can I have multiple varieties in the same vote? … Thai, Sweet, Purple Ruffles)
    3. Thyme (… lemon, French, and caraway?)
    4. Lemon Verbena
    5. Cilantro

    Honestly, I could go on and on and on…

  22. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog and I’m loving yours! I’m especially fond of the food porn pics.
    As for my top 5 herbs (in no specific order)
    1. Basil
    2. Mint
    3. Lavender
    4. Lemongrass (might not totally be within the guidelines but I really like it)
    5. Rosemary

  23. Top-5 herbs

    1) Tarragon (almost better than the butter in a bearnaise)
    2) Thyme (I hated thyme for years, but I’d only had it from a jar, then I tried it fresh and everything made sense.)
    3) Cilantro (I’m not one of those unlucky few who can’t tolerate it. I’ll eat it on hot dogs).
    4) Basil (especially between tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella)
    5) Chives (a great garnish, but adds taste as well)

  24. Oh jeez, this is hard. My pantry of dried spices makes me look like a bandit from the Silk Road, and there are always fresh herbs in the fridge. I think that there should be a top 5 winter herbs and a top 5 summer herbs….could we do that? Alright, I’ll stop complaining now and just do it:
    1. Thyme
    2. Basil
    3. Dill
    4. Cilantro
    5. Mint

  25. I can’t believe that your tarragon is peaking up in so early!!! – I have to go through heaven and hell to keep my tarragon alive through our moderate, mild winters here in SW Oregon! Whatever, here are my choices, along with rationale for same:
    1- Tarragon – as in tarragon with slow butter braised carrots.
    2- Thyme – as in grilled chicken halves wrapped in fresh thyme sprigs.
    3- Rosemary – as in the hundreds of uses, but mostly because it makes a fantastic hedge with a heady aroma to boot!
    4- Mint – as in making salads sing, and because you can never kill mint, no matter what you do!
    5- Parsley – as in its universal usage, and because if you let it go to seed in your garden, you are rewarded next spring with 1000s of baby parsleys!

  26. Well my list is surprising for an Italian since is topped by:
    1) Coriander (or cilantro for the spanish side)
    First of all all the curries and raita but also the fresh leaves in salad are great. Cream of carrot and coriander … I love everything about it from the smell to the taste

    2) Basil
    Probably because I have just finished to eat a great home made pesto.

    3) Sage
    Great in the kitchen, as a drug, and even in your bath!

    4) Rocket
    We go back into salads (and yes it’s an anglophonism since we do not consider it an herb but a salad leaf)

    5) Oregano
    Of course you need it to top a pizza……

  27. I’m looking forward to the bounties of spring, even though I don’t have any sunlight in my apartment to grow my own garden.

    1) Green Shiso – This is probably one of my favourite flavours ever
    2) Yuzu zest – not sure if this counts as an herb, but it should
    3) Mitsuba – looks like cilantro but tastes like cedar trees
    4) Thyme – It’s got a good go with everything flavour
    5) Vietnamese cinnamon – How many spices can go as well as cinnamon in both savoury dishes and sweet ones.

  28. Thanks for the Field Guide to Herbs and Spices, you two! I love this book. Who knew that myrtle bush leaves go so well with veal? The information presented here is useful and practical and downright fascinating. Thanks!

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