Tired of mundane meals and predictable flavours that leave your culinary creations lacking? The secret to elevating your dishes lies in the mastery of certain key ingredients. Within the pages of Margaret Roberts' Culinary Secrets, a treasure trove awaits, revealing the transformative power of seven essential herbs. These aren't just any herbs; they are the cornerstone of exquisite flavours, capable of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

For those passionate about cooking, the quest for that distinctive taste and aroma can often feel like an endless journey. However, the essence of remarkable cuisine often resides in the subtleties that these selected herbs can bring to your kitchen. Whether you're an aspiring chef or a home cook eager to impress, embracing the nuances of these culinary gems will open up a world of flavour and creativity, setting your dishes apart.

Basil: A Staple in Margaret's Kitchen

Basil: A Staple in Margaret's Kitchen

Basil, cherished for its aromatic leaves and versatile culinary applications, reigns as a fundamental ingredient in Margaret Roberts' culinary repertoire. Margaret Roberts, a connoisseur in the realm of herbs, values basil for its ability to elevate dishes with its fresh and distinctive flavour profile. This herb, often featured in Margaret's recipes, brings a touch of sophistication to salads, sauces, and pesto creations.

Margaret Roberts' affinity for basil extends beyond its culinary uses; she also appreciates its ease of cultivation. Whether in a garden bed or a kitchen herb pot, basil thrives under Margaret's care, ensuring a ready supply for her culinary experiments. The vibrant taste and vibrant green hue of basil not only enhance the flavour but also add visual appeal to Margaret's dishes, making them not only delicious but aesthetically pleasing as well.

In Margaret Roberts' kitchen, basil stands as an indispensable herb, enriching her culinary creations with its aromatic essence.

Rosemary: Versatile Herb for Cooking

Rosemary, a member of the mint family, is cherished for its bold, pine-like flavor that marries well with a spectrum of dishes. Rich in antioxidants, this herb not only enhances the taste of food but also contributes to potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion and boosting cognitive function.

With simple cultivation requirements, rosemary thrives in both garden beds and containers, making it an accessible and invaluable addition to any home cook's herb collection.

Rosemary Flavor Pairings

In culinary applications, rosemary's versatile nature shines through as it effortlessly enhances a wide array of dishes with its earthy and piney notes.

Rosemary from the Herbal Centre at De Wildt pairs exceptionally well with roasted meats like lamb, chicken, and pork, adding depth to their flavours. This herb, featured in the Guide to Growing, can elevate marinades, salad dressings, and bread recipes, imparting a fragrant and savoury essence.

When used with vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and courgettes, rosemary brings a fresh and aromatic taste to the dishes. Infusing rosemary into oils or vinegars provides a subtle essence, making it a versatile ingredient.

Its robust flavour profile also makes it an excellent choice for seasoning soups, stews, and sauces, enhancing their complexity.

Rosemary Health Benefits

With its renowned antioxidant properties and rich nutritional content, rosemary emerges as a multifaceted herb, offering a plethora of health benefits beyond its culinary applications.

  1. Rosemary is known for its antioxidant properties, which can help boost the immune system and protect against chronic diseases.
  2. This herb is a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6, essential for maintaining overall health and well-being.
  3. Incorporating rosemary into dishes not only adds a unique flavor but also provides anti-inflammatory benefits due to its rosmarinic acid content.

Rosemary has been traditionally used to improve digestion, enhance memory, and relieve muscle pain, showcasing its versatile health benefits.

The aroma of rosemary has been linked to improved mood, reduced stress levels, and increased cognitive performance, making it a valuable herb for holistic well-being.

Rosemary Growing Tips

Thriving best in well-drained soil under full sunlight, the hardy herb rosemary is a versatile and essential addition to any culinary garden. To maintain its growth, regular pruning is key.

Pruning techniques involve trimming the soft, green tips to encourage bushier foliage, leading to more flavourful leaves for culinary purposes.

Ideal growing conditions for rosemary include well-drained, sandy soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, mimicking its native Mediterranean habitat.

Additionally, rosemary can be easily propagated from cuttings. By snipping a 4 to 6-inch stem, removing the lower leaves, and placing it in well-draining soil, gardeners can effortlessly expand their rosemary supply.

Understanding these growth tips ensures a bountiful harvest of this aromatic and savoury herb.

Thyme: Essential Herb in Margaret's Recipes

Thyme: Essential Herb in Margaret's Recipes

Thyme, a fragrant and versatile herb, plays a crucial role in Margaret Roberts' culinary creations, infusing dishes with its aromatic and savoury essence. Here are three ways Margaret Roberts incorporates thyme into her recipes:

  1. Thyme Infused Oils: Margaret Roberts often creates thyme-infused oils by steeping fresh thyme sprigs in high-quality olive oil. This infusion process allows the oil to absorb the herb's essential oils, resulting in a flavourful base for dressings, marinades, and cooking.
  2. Thyme Infused Cocktails: Thyme adds a unique twist to cocktails, bringing a herbaceous and refreshing note to drinks. Margaret Roberts' recipes may include thyme-infused simple syrups or muddled thyme leaves in cocktails for an extra layer of flavour.
  3. Thyme Infused Desserts: Surprisingly, thyme can also be found in desserts in Margaret Roberts' culinary repertoire. The herb's subtle earthy undertones complement sweet treats like lemon thyme shortbread or honey-thyme roasted fruits, adding depth and complexity to the final dish.

Mint: Refreshing Flavor in Culinary Creations

Mint, scientifically known as Mentha, is renowned for its versatility in culinary applications, offering a refreshing and palate-cleansing taste. This herb, commonly used in salads, drinks, and desserts, not only adds a burst of freshness but also contains antioxidants that can aid in digestion and provide stomach relief.

Margaret Roberts' emphasis on utilizing freshly grown mint underscores the importance of maximizing both flavor and health benefits in culinary creations.

Mint's Versatile Culinary Uses

Integrating mint into culinary creations offers a burst of refreshing flavor that elevates a broad spectrum of dishes, from savory main courses to sweet desserts.

  1. Mint-infused desserts: Mint leaves can be steeped in cream to create mint chocolate chip ice cream or blended into a minty cheesecake for a delightful twist.
  2. Minty cocktail creations: The aromatic essence of mint complements various cocktails like mojitos, mint juleps, and even non-alcoholic beverages, adding a refreshing zing.
  3. Mint garnishing techniques: Mint leaves serve as an attractive and flavorful garnish when finely chopped and sprinkled over dishes like salads, fruit plates, or savory dishes like lamb chops.

Benefits of Fresh Mint

With its invigorating aroma and culinary versatility, fresh mint emerges as a powerhouse herb that not only enhances the flavour profiles of dishes but also offers potential health benefits.

Mint infused drinks, such as teas and cocktails, are popular for their refreshing taste and digestive properties. Minty dessert recipes, like mint chocolate chip ice cream or mint-infused fruit salads, provide a delightful burst of flavour while aiding in digestion.

In addition, mint is known for its ability to support digestive health by soothing stomach discomfort and promoting proper digestion. Whether used fresh in salads or dried in cooking, incorporating fresh mint into meals can elevate taste experiences and contribute to overall well-being.

Sage: Savory Herb for Robust Dishes

Sage, renowned for its robust and savoury essence, stands as a cornerstone herb in the realm of culinary creations for its aromatic and earthy notes. When it comes to Margaret Roberts' culinary secrets, sage plays a vital role in elevating dishes with its distinctive flavour profile.

Here are three key ways sage can be used:

  1. Sage Infused Cocktails: Incorporating sage into cocktails adds a unique depth of flavour, blending well with spirits and mixers to create refreshing and aromatic drinks.
  2. Sage Infused Desserts: Sage can be a surprising yet delightful addition to desserts, offering a savoury counterbalance to sweet flavours in dishes like sage-infused ice creams or cakes.
  3. Health Benefits of Sage: Beyond its culinary uses, sage is rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients. It possesses antimicrobial properties and is known for its anti-inflammatory effects, making it a valuable herb for overall well-being.

In Margaret Roberts' culinary repertoire, sage not only enhances the taste of dishes but also contributes to their nutritional value, showcasing the herb's versatility and significance in the world of cooking.

Parsley: Brightening Dishes Margaret's Way

Parsley: Brightening Dishes Margaret's Way

Parsley, a verdant herb celebrated for its fresh and vibrant essence, plays a pivotal role in Margaret Roberts' culinary repertoire, infusing dishes with a burst of flavour and nutrition. Margaret Roberts recommends utilising parsley generously in salads, soups, stews, and as a garnish to impart a fresh and lively taste to the dish. Cooking with herbs like parsley not only enhances the flavour profile but also adds visual appeal to the meals prepared the Margaret Roberts way.

For flavourful garnish ideas, Margaret Roberts suggests sprinkling freshly chopped parsley on top of dishes just before serving to elevate the overall taste experience. Rich in essential vitamins A, C, and K, parsley serves as a nutritious addition to the diet when incorporated into daily cooking practices. Margaret Roberts emphasises the significance of using fresh parsley to maximise both flavour and health benefits.

Oregano: Mediterranean Twist in Cooking

Oregano, a beloved herb in Mediterranean cuisine renowned for its robust and savoury flavour profile, brings a distinctive Mediterranean twist to cooking with its versatile culinary applications.

  1. Oregano-Infused Oils: Oregano-infused oils are a popular way to capture the essence of this herb. The oil takes on the herb's aromatic qualities, enhancing salad dressings, drizzling over roasted vegetables, or adding a finishing touch to soups and stews.
  2. Mediterranean Herb Blends: Oregano is a key ingredient in many Mediterranean herb blends, such as Italian seasoning. These blends often include basil, thyme, and rosemary, creating a harmonious flavour profile perfect for pasta dishes, pizzas, and grilled meats.
  3. Oregano in Marinades: Oregano's bold flavour pairs exceptionally well in marinades for meats and vegetables. Its earthy and slightly peppery taste adds depth to the marinade, infusing the dish with Mediterranean flair.

Margaret Roberts extols the virtues of oregano for its versatility, whether used fresh or dried, and encourages growing this herb at home for easy access to its flavourful benefits in everyday cooking.


Diving into Margaret Roberts' Culinary Secrets feels like going on an adventure with herbs. Imagine mixing robust basil or sprinkling some cool mint on your food. It's like a magic touch that turns a simple meal into a feast for your senses. These herbs do more than just make your food taste amazing; they're like little health boosters straight from nature. So, when you cook, think of adding these special herbs to not just make your dishes pop with flavour but also to give your body a good treat.

If you ever get stuck or need a bit of inspiration on how to bring these flavours into your meals, don't hesitate to reach out to Margaret Roberts for guidance. And remember, if you're excited to start your herb-filled cooking journey, come and shop with us. We've got all you need to get started. By embracing the power of herbs, you're stepping into a whole new world of cooking that's not just about eating, but about creating experiences that are healthy and joyous.