Jamie Oliver on Kitchen Herbs (Video)

You don’t have to be a master chef to make simple foods taste great. Jamie Oliver discusses how to spice up your home cooking with just a few fresh herbs (and a bit of cheeky humor!). Be sure to tune in this week for the return of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Growing a Kitchen Garden
Growing your own herbs provides a tangible way to connect with the source of your food, while opening up a world of flavors in the kitchen. A sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs can transform a familiar dish into a delicious, new experience. Many herbs also have health benefits, such as aiding digestion or stimulating the nervous system.

In addition to their culinary uses, herbs beautify the home, engage the senses, and provide a great way to get your hands dirty. If you’re new to gardening or have children, a container garden of herbs is a fun beginning project, especially for city-dwellers. You don’t even need a backyard—a sunny windowsill or balcony will do.

Growing herbs also saves money. Have you ever bought a bunch of fresh mint to discover that you only needed a few sprigs? With only a bit watering and maintenance, potted herbs offer a constant supply of garden-fresh ingredients. Though most flavorful when just harvested, herbs can also be dried and preserved for the winter months.

Getting Started
Herb seedlings can be found at your local gardening supply store and some farmers markets and grocery stores. Choose common herbs that are versatile and easy to grow in your region. Jamie Oliver recommends rosemary, basil, and thyme.

  • Rosemary: A perennial herb (meaning you plant it once, and it will grow for years), rosemary dresses up savory dishes such as potatoes, breads, and meats. Add a spring to hot water to make an invigorating tea that makes a great pick-me-up.
  • Basil: A relative of mint, basil is a popular annual herb (it must be replanted yearly) that thrives in hot weather. A signature in Indian, Thai, and Italian cuisines, basil is available in many varieties, ranging from green to purple in color. Often paired with tomatoes, it makes a bright addition to salads and pasta and noodle dishes. Basil also repels mosquitoes.
  • Thyme: Thyme is a shrubby perennial that comes in different culinary varieties: English thyme, lemon thyme, caraway thyme, and more. Add it to soups, stews, scrambled eggs, or roasted vegetables. Thyme has antiseptic properties and can relieve a sore throat.

Other herbs that are great for beginners include chives, mint, oregano, sage, dill, parsley, and cilantro. Chives and other herbs produce beautiful—and edible—flowers, adding color to your garden. These suggestions are just the beginning. Explore, experiment, and discover what herbs nourish you.

Explore National Gardening Association’s Kids Gardening for activities and projects for gardening with children. Allrecipes.com offers tips and recipes for starting an herb garden. Culinary Herb Guide provides descriptions of common herbs, plus growing and cooking recommendations

Check out the Nourish website for more ideas and resources. Stay tuned for more selections from the Nourish Video Encyclopedia, a collection of short films that explore the story of our food.

What’s your favorite herb?

9 Herbs to Cook With
5 Easy to Grow Remedies
8 Ways to Eat Green by Slashing Your Grocery Bill


Caroline B.
Caroline B2 years ago

I killed the last ones I tried to grow, I will have to try again.

Dale O.

Jamie Oliver is certainly right when it comes to the subject of herbs and using them for cooking. Herbs are easy to grow and I have always enjoyed growing them. Some have very small and delicate flowers.

Have been growing herbs for decades, I can't imagine being without them, not to mention spices.

Vera Y stated: "The problems with the chefs, for me, is that i can't stand when they cook animal's meat......it hurts me when I watch them chopping the poor dead fellow, as if it was nothing, not a "once alive being" but a thing.......too sad....."

People have been omnivore for eons, some people do eat meat. Chefs will cook what people want to eat. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian chefs as well, so there is something for everyone. Jains refuse to eat root veggies because they don't believe in disturbing the insects that are living in the soil. If one does not like that meat is a food, one doesn't have to eat it.

Siti Rohana
Siti R6 years ago

wish we could garden in singapore!

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L6 years ago

I love Jamie... and herbs!

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

Love all herbs!

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 6 years ago

to save space I planted the tomato and herbs in one container

myra dolgoy
myra d6 years ago

Jamie is just an awesome example to us all. MMM and herb suggestions are good too.

Kirsten B.
Past Member 6 years ago

Yes, herbs are great: tasty, good for you, alternatives to 'regular medicines' and easy to grow.
Thank you.

Linda E.
Linda E6 years ago

Jamie Oliver is a nutrition rock star!
I enjoyed his presentation on herbs and his joke at the end.

Paula Hurley
.6 years ago

Love all herbs, thanks for article!