Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow, whether in a spacious backyard garden or small apartment windowsill. Common varieties, such as rosemary, parsley, and mint, offer both ornamental appeal and distinct culinary value. But as fundamental as these popular greens are, there are many unique and exotic herbs that are worth planting, as well. It’s time to think outside the basil!
Lesser-known culinary herbs can create a more fragrant garden, and introduce bold new flavors and aromatics to your cooking. Green-thumbed gourmands will love the rich essence that chocolate mint can bring to baked goods and herbal teas, or the jalapeño peppery zest that conehead thyme infuses into savory dishes. Want to kick cocktails up a notch? Try muddling in some fresh, citrusy lemon basil. The possibilities are endless.
Since herbs tend to be costly in stores, it makes sense to grow your favorites at home. Generally, you won’t need an expansive plot or the perfect climate for these edibles to survive — many will even flourish indoors, making it easy to just snip off a sprig and get cooking.
Once ready to expand your herbal repertoire, there are several ways to acquire specialty plants. Local farmers’ markets usually offer a vast selection of fresh seedlings for purchase, or you can pick up herbs at area garden stores and even order seed packets online.
To help spruce up your home garden and add variety to your dishes, we’ve rounded up this list of eight uncommon culinary herbs that will bring a depth of delicious flavors and scents to your favorite recipes.