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Cooking With Kitchen Windowsill Herbs

You don’t need a backyard to grow savory sage, aromatic but slightly bitter oregano, sweet basil, and sweet and savory thyme, among many other mouthwatering herbs.

All you need is a few pots, potting soil, live plants and a sunny kitchen windowsill.

Having a kitchen windowsill with potted herbs gives you fresh, sweet and savory flavors to cook with at your fingertips.

Having a never ending supply of fresh live herbs on hand throughout the year, assures your cooking will never be boring or bland.

The secret to delicious plated food, if it be a risotto dish, bowl of homemade soup, a salad dressing, vinaigrette, a pan sauce, roasted vegetables, stuffed chicken breasts or beef fajitas, rests on a kitchen windowsill of fresh potted herbs.

Kitchen Windowsill With Potted Herbs – Including Left To Right – Sage, Oregano, Basil, Thyme & Rosemary

Cooking With Kitchen Windowsill Herbs

Most recipes will call for using dried herbs. With a few calling for fresh.

Dried herbs can be more potent than fresh. That means if you use 1 teaspoon of a dried herb, you will need more fresh herb to use in the recipe.

A good rule of thumb to remember is, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of a dried herb, but you want to use the herb in its fresh form, you would need 1 tablespoon of fresh herb.

This rule applies to all dried herbs. Again that would be 1 tablespoon of fresh herb to 1 teaspoon of dried herb.

Some herbs season better than others in their dried form, such as dill, thyme, and sage among others.

Basil, parsley and cilantro are examples of herbs that season better in their fresh form.

The following herbs noted are among the top 10 herbs easy to grow on a sunny kitchen windowsill with information on how to harvest them when needed. Recipes are included.


Basil is commonly used in Italian dishes. The herb is great for adding flavor to soups and sauces. When cooking, add it towards the end to maintain flavor.

HOW TO HARVEST: Keep soil moist and water the plant the night before harvest. Pinch or cut off any flowers spikes that form. Harvest basil frequently and it will continue to grow.


Oregano is most common in Mexican, Italian and Greek dishes. Like this Greek Chicken Meatballs With Spinach Orzo & Tzatziki Dipping Sauce.

It adds flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. Like this Chipotle Sauce.

HOW TO HARVEST: Harvest individual leaves from the stem or harvest a long stem with leaves on it.

Let the plant grow to a minimum of 4 inches previous to harvesting. Regular trimming will help to keep the plant bushier.


Sage is a popular herb used in poultry and meat seasoning. Sage is used in savory sauces. You can’t have a delicious stuffing without sage.

HOW TO HARVEST: Use sharp scissors to cut leaves directly off of the plant. Harvest the leaves when needed. Use the youngest and most tender leaves for best flavor.


Thyme can be used in almost any dish, but especially marinades, pasta, potatoes, pizza and roasted vegetables. Like this Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon.

HOW TO HARVEST: For strongest flavor, harvest thyme just before blooming. Snip the top 2/3 of each shoot and avoid cutting into woody section of plant.


Rosemary is popularly used with lamb, soups and poultry. Like this Mozzarella Chicken with Rosemary & Marinara Sauce.

The woodsy herb has a sweet and resinous flavor.

HOW TO HARVEST: Trim stems to harvest and pull leaves off by hand. Cut stems completely back to a main or side branch.

More Deliciously Yummy Recipes

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