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Book review: The Cook's Herb Garden

Discover everything you need to know about growing and cooking with culinary herbs

The Cook’s Herb Garden

How to grow, harvest and cook with your own harvest of herbs
By Jeff Cox and Marie-Pierre Moine

If there’s one thing a gardener enjoys almost as much as gardening, it’s scheming about the coming season’s garden. The arrival of seed catalogues in February is met with the kind of excitement kids reserve for Christmas. When a gardener sinks her teeth into a juicy read, well, it’s almost as good as that first plunge of trowel into warm, yielding, May earth.

And if there is an edibles gardener who doesn’t like to cook—or at the very least, love to eat—we have yet to meet them. Growing food just goes hand in gardening glove with cooking the bounty.

Herbs in particular, have a fascinating history of beginning their relationship with humans as medicine and over time, making the transition from apothecary to kitchen, when they are valued more for their flavours than their healing properties.

The Cook’s Herb Garden is one of those books that sets the impatient gardener’s heart to fluttering. It inspires with beautiful, informative pages of new herbs to try—there is more to life than basil—and creative container options beyond terra cotta. The book is broken down into four main sections that resemble the seasons: Choose, Grow, Harvest and Store and Cook.

Even the book’s design is comfortable—compact, glossy, hardcover, perfect for taking into the kitchen—and packed with colour images, easy-to-follow instructions and 60 recipes for simple and delicious ways to enjoy the fruit of your labours, from cordials to pestos.

What makes this book unique: Partner Charts. The last few pages of the book are broken down into sub-sections: Meat, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Dairy, Vegetables, Fruits and Desserts. Here, the authors list the best herb matches for dozens of ingredients—some classic, tested and true, some exciting and new. Consider melon with mint, basil or cilantro, or how about chicken with pot marigold or bergamot?

Price: $21
Publisher: DK Publishing

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