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Life is Beautiful Blog

Take Advantage of the Final Days of Summer: Herbs for the Grill

jennifer carroll

August means we’re almost at the end of summer grilling season. With back-to-school upon us and Labor Day around the corner, now is the time to step out of your grilling comfort zone.

Here some herbs we recommend all of you grilling novices and masters add to your repertoire:

Basil: Goes well with chicken, halibut, lamb, salmon, and tuna, beef, pork and vegetables. Fresh basil is recommended to be added at the last minute so it doesn’t burn and lose some of its fresh flavor. Also, look for the different flavored basil such as lemon.

Rosemary: Goes well with chicken, most fish and shellfish, beef, lamb, pork and vegetables. One fun use for rosemary is growing the varieties that are upright and using the stems as skewers. Soak them first in water or olive oil. This is especially great with lamb basted with  a little lemon as it cooks. For looks on the plate as well as eating, grill a whole stem of rosemary and let it cook until crispy, but not heavily burnt. This adds great texture and taste to many dishes.

Thyme: Goes well with all poultry, most fish and shellfish, beef, lamb, pork, & vegetables. The Common Thyme, also known as English Thyme is an excellent choice, but ome other good varieties to use are Lemon and Lime Thymes. They both can give an extra zesty flavor.

Oregano: Goes well with chicken, most fish and shellfish, beef, lamb, and vegetables. Oregano can have a pungent flavor and aroma. This may require a bit more caution in its use, but still gives you that fabulous Mediterranean flavor.

French Tarragon: Goes well with all poultry, most fish and shellfish, beef, lamb, pork, and vegetables. Tarragon is widely used in classic French cooking for a variety of dishes including chicken, fish, and vegetables. Care need to be taken when using this herb because the flavor can dominate.

Sage: Goes well with chicken, halibut, sole, beef, lamb, pork, and vegetables. This herb is well-known for stuffing. So, if you are cooking a whole chicken or Cornish game hen, this would be the perfect herb for the stuffing.


  • When cooking with herbs on the grill, you don’t want them to burn, so control the heat and get creative on how you can apply the flavor of the herb.
  • Use marinades, (an easy quick marinade is chopping the herb up and mixing it with olive oil) stuff them under the skin, or use in a stuffing.
  • If you can actually cut whatever you are grilling and stuff the herb in, that will make a great way to permeate the flavor further.  
  • With fish, a nice way to cook it is in foil wrap, so the fish doesn’t dry out. You can add an extra amount of olive oil, parley, dill, along with other ingredients such onions, mushrooms, summer squash, lemons, and small cooked potatoes.