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Only ONE Herb?

TexasToast Aug 11, 2006 12:13 PM

If you could only ues ONE herb for the rest of your life, in any form (or combination, e.g., fresh, leaf, seed, dried, powdered, candied, etc.), what would it be?

I guess mine would have to be cilantro, in all its forms. Mint would come a close second.


  1. m
    mattrapp Aug 11, 2006 12:22 PM

    Basil,fresh basil.

    1. pikawicca Aug 11, 2006 12:28 PM

      Fresh Italian parsley!

      1 Reply
      1. re: pikawicca
        mshpook Sep 4, 2006 04:05 PM

        if i base my answer upon what i always have in my refrigerator, then i would also have to go with fresh italian parsley. it just seems to be a basic ingredient in so many dishes that i would cook. It is something that i always have on hand, along with lemons, garlic and olive oil.

      2. LindaWhit Aug 11, 2006 01:20 PM


        1 Reply
        1. re: LindaWhit
          Bad Sneakers Sep 7, 2006 11:13 AM

          Add me to the Rosemary lovers.

        2. pescatarian Aug 11, 2006 01:26 PM

          I would say cilantro also. The more I use it the more I can't get enough.

          1. rcheng Aug 11, 2006 01:38 PM


            1. c
              cheryl_h Aug 11, 2006 02:08 PM


              4 Replies
              1. re: cheryl_h
                sweet ginger Aug 12, 2006 02:12 AM

                Absolutely garlic!

                1. re: sweet ginger
                  TexasToast Aug 12, 2006 03:38 PM

                  Hmm, I'd forgotten about garlic.


                  1. re: TexasToast
                    Ruth Lafler Aug 18, 2006 07:04 PM

                    Garlic is not an herb. Technically, I think it's a vegetable.

                    There are very few questions like this that I absolutely cannot answer, but this one has me in a quandry.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                      cheryl_h Aug 18, 2006 08:00 PM

                      I already posted about this below. See this link:


              2. Cpt Wafer Aug 11, 2006 02:13 PM

                Fresh thyme, followed by fresh marjoram.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Cpt Wafer
                  marachino Aug 11, 2006 02:17 PM

                  Fresh Thai basil, hands down!!!

                  1. re: Cpt Wafer
                    TongoRad Aug 11, 2006 02:39 PM

                    Freash marjoram really is wonderful to have around, and it is so versatile as well. I can see substituting it for any number of other herbs (oregano, mint, parsley, sage, tarragon, fenugreek, etc.) and getting great, though different, results. On the other hand fresh basil and cilantro really have no substitutes and I use them most often. Those would be my top three and if I really had to pick one it would be basil- I'm just glad that I don't ;)

                    1. re: TongoRad
                      Gooseberry Aug 12, 2006 02:21 AM

                      I'm edging towards the marjoram on this one. Have you tried summer savory, TongoRad? Recently I tried it for the first time, and I felt it was a pleasant compromise between fresh marjoram and thyme - both herby-floral, and aromatic-spicy. So wonderful in a pesto...

                      1. re: Gooseberry
                        TongoRad Aug 15, 2006 08:23 PM

                        Last year was my first growing marjoram and I really fell in love with it. Next year I'll make a point to add the summer savory to the collection (there's always room for one more). Thanks for the tip, Gooseberry.

                  2. Karl S Aug 11, 2006 02:26 PM


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Karl S
                      Funwithfood Aug 15, 2006 08:38 PM

                      Me too, followed by rosemary.

                      1. re: Funwithfood
                        Katie Nell Aug 18, 2006 07:06 PM

                        Me too, same order.

                    2. jillp Aug 11, 2006 02:41 PM

                      Thyme, fresh and dried.

                      1. e
                        erikka Aug 11, 2006 04:00 PM


                        1. Candy Aug 11, 2006 11:07 PM

                          I am sure I posted this earlier today and it disappeared, but put me in the thyme camp. Both fresh and dried. I find fresh basil and cilantro to be very seasonal. I can't imagine not having thyme on hand.

                          1. n
                            niki rothman Aug 15, 2006 08:34 PM

                            If you just had ONE herb, eventually - and it probably wouldn't even take that long - you would just get so sick to death of the damn thing that you would never even want to taste it again as long as you lived!
                            Variety is the *spice* of life.

                            1. Das Ubergeek Aug 15, 2006 09:57 PM

                              If we're counting garlic as an herb -- which it isn't, because you eat the bulb -- then it'd be garlic. Otherwise, it'd have to be oregano. I couldn't cook without it.

                              1. s
                                sheiladeedee Aug 16, 2006 05:59 AM

                                Basil for me. The availability of fresh basil year round is a miracle, kind of like the internet.

                                1. x
                                  xica14 Aug 16, 2006 11:38 PM

                                  Basil, with rosemary a close second.

                                  1. f
                                    FrankJBN Aug 17, 2006 08:30 PM

                                    Surprised my choice, oregano, is so unpopular. garlic is not an herb.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: FrankJBN
                                      cheryl_h Aug 17, 2006 08:53 PM

                                      Tell the Herb Society of America:


                                      1. re: cheryl_h
                                        GoalieJeff Aug 21, 2006 04:45 AM

                                        Tell the Herb Society of America to bite me . Garlic is not an herb . So sayeth my Society .

                                        1. re: GoalieJeff
                                          Davwud Sep 4, 2006 12:21 AM

                                          Garlic is a member of the onion family. So if it's an herb, so are onions.


                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            mshpook Sep 4, 2006 08:07 AM

                                            actually, both garlic and onions are members of the lily family.

                                      2. re: FrankJBN
                                        Das Ubergeek Aug 18, 2006 06:59 PM

                                        There are not so many things that can't be cooked well with just a little garlic, salt, olive oil, oregano and lemon juice.

                                      3. h
                                        hapenny_gourmet Aug 18, 2006 08:07 PM

                                        Cumin, thanks.

                                        1. m
                                          melly Aug 21, 2006 04:51 AM


                                          1. kitchensalli Sep 3, 2006 04:24 PM

                                            Rosemary for me. Followed by flat leaf parsley and basil.

                                            1. kare_raisu Sep 3, 2006 11:10 PM

                                              shiso, no question

                                              1. y
                                                Yodeler Sep 3, 2006 11:25 PM

                                                I could not choose just one. In order of necessity:
                                                1. Basil
                                                2. Rosemary
                                                3. Tarragon
                                                4. Flat leaf parsley
                                                5. Mint (if you have had sauce Paloise with rack of lamb you know what I mean!!)

                                                Garlic is technically not an herb. Herbs are normally considered to be those plants whose leaves are used for flavoring. Garlic would be considered a vegetable as it's the body of the plant itself that's used. But, for the sake of argument, if herbs are those plant materials that add aroma and flavor, garlic is on my list.

                                                1. mbe Sep 4, 2006 08:11 AM

                                                  wow, did no one pick dill? even in the top3?
                                                  I'll pick dill... after fresh basil :)

                                                  1. designerboy01 Sep 6, 2006 07:02 PM


                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: designerboy01
                                                      TexasToast Sep 6, 2006 11:49 PM

                                                      Is ginger a herb?


                                                    2. NovoCuisine Sep 7, 2006 02:58 AM

                                                      Cilantro. No question.

                                                      1. MMRuth Sep 7, 2006 11:55 AM

                                                        I was thinking about this while falling asleep last night - the herb I use most is probably thyme - the cookbooks I've been using lately seem to call for it regularly. But it occurred to me that I never think to myself - "oh, I'd like to cook that with thyme" - the herbs that usually inspire me, and that I love, are chives, basil, rosemary and sage. I don't even know if I'd recognize thyme in blind "smell test".

                                                        1. FoodFuser Sep 14, 2006 06:25 AM

                                                          Tough question. Depends on the circumstance...

                                                          If lost at sea and adrift in lifeboat: Dill, for the fish.

                                                          If locked in a tomato greenhouse for a year: Basil.

                                                          In a Geometry test to identify all those multisided shapes: Tarragon

                                                          In a Singles bar: A toss up... either Ginger or Rosemary.

                                                          If suffering from Loss of memory and all accumulated wisdom: Sage

                                                          If stranded in an elevator with enemies: Garlic

                                                          In a bad dream of knocking repeatedly on friend's door and no answer: Cumin

                                                          God forbid, if transformed into an Irish lawyer: Sumac

                                                          1. TexasToast Sep 14, 2006 09:15 AM

                                                            Surely you jest, FoodFuser :)


                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: TexasToast
                                                              FoodFuser Sep 14, 2006 02:57 PM

                                                              Nawww, not a Jester. Just Chivin' ya.

                                                            2. h
                                                              HillJ Sep 14, 2006 12:31 PM

                                                              If black pepper qualifies...then black pepper

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