Fresh herbs are simply wonderful to cook with, and they should be ever-present in your kitchen.
When I would help in the kitchen as a girl in Italy, for every herb we had in the garden there was a pot on the stove to match. Some herbs are better to cook with while others are better added at the end to finish a dish. Rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme are mostly used in long cooking, where their oils are extracted slowly. Sage, oregano, and marjoram need very little cooking time. Herbs such as basil, parsley, and mint are great to toss in at the end – just enough to release their refreshing aromas. If you have small children, a wonderful way to introduce them to these aromas is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell it. I always did this with my children and grandchildren when they were very small. It’s a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.