Snipping fresh herbs from my herb garden is a joy that never fades. Whether I’m harvesting fresh chives for garnish, basil for pesto, mint for tea, or tarragon for deviled eggs, the aroma of these fresh scents makes me smile every time. Thyme, cilantro, parsley, dill, and rosemary are also staples in my garden and in my cooking.
Incorporating a little French in your gardening life is easy and fun. Several years ago, I decided to add little French nametags to my herb pots. French nouns are each assigned a gender, le or la, with no real rhyme or reason for which is masculine or feminine. The “th” is French is pronounced like a “t,” like the name Thomas or the herb Thyme. If you’d like to label your herbs en français, too, here is a list of French names (with pronunciation) for common garden herbs:
Basil – La Basilique (la bass-ee-leek)
Chives – La Ciboulette (la see-boo-lett)
Cilantro/Fresh Coriander – La Coriandre (la cor-ee-ahnd-rr)
Dill – L’Aneth (pronounced lan-ett)
Mint – La Menthe (la mant)
Parsley – Le Persil (luh per-see)
Tarragon – L’Estragon (less-tra-goh, nasal)
Thyme – Le Thym (nasal- think “tam” but without the “m” sound: luh tã)
Rosemary – Le Roumarin (luh roo-mar-ah, nasal)
Cooking and baking with herbs isn’t the only way to use these plants; making fresh tisane (hot herbal tea) & iced teas from garden herbs is a lovely way to bring these aromatics into your every day life. My favorite: hot fresh mint tea in the winter, and cold mint tea mixed with lemonade for a refreshing hot-weather drink. Ooh la la!
For more gardening tips and recipe ideas, see my book Ooh la la! French Inspirations for Entertaining and Travel, available here.