To prove how many ways one can use various herbs, Country Inns in the White Mountains of New Hampshire welcomes each June with the Inn to Inn Spring Herb Tour.

Herbs, offered in freshly picked bunches at farmers markets or as take-home plants, are oftentimes the most underestimated grabs.


To enlighten those who aren’t privy to the many uses of herbs, think beyond teas. Herbs may be utilized in salads, cookies, meat, potatoes and, yes, in soups and teas, as well.


To prove how many ways one can use various herbs, Country Inns in the White Mountains of New Hampshire welcomes each June with the Inn to Inn Spring Herb Tour.


It is during the Herb Tour that visitors can sample herb-infused savory and sweet recipes from 10 inns in two days while staying overnight at one of the inns.


The Wildflowers Inn is conveniently located on Route 16 with a breathtaking view from the breakfast area. It is at Wildflowers Inn that samples of curried coconut chicken served in wontons are distributed for those who have signed up for the Herb Tour ($20 per ticket).


Each innkeeper is welcoming and charming, offering a tidbit of their herb pick in the form of a take-home plant, seeds or a bag with ground-up herbs, such as curry.


Native to India, the curry leaf is widely cultivated in South Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands and Sri Lanka as a food flavoring for cooks who want to dish up an Indian recipe. Although the curried coconut chicken with potatoes, sour cream, onion and parsley, cooked in a slow cooker, was scrumptious, what most people want during this time of year is to be able to pick from their garden and utilize herbs in various recipes.


Parsley is an herb that dates back to the Greeks and Romans who used it medicinally rather than for consumption. Today, fresh, flat-leaf parsley is enjoyed in soups, salads and sauces, and the curly version is best used as a garnish. The nutritional benefits of parsley are enticing as well; parsley is an excellent source of vitamins C, A and K, as well as iron and folate.


The Darby Field Inn, located in Albany, N.H., has a fabulous restaurant to which the crispy roast duck is a sure bet to order — but for the purposes of an Herb to Herb Tour, it highlights oregano, offering samples of scrumptious sun-dried tomato scones and meatballs.


A member of the mint family, oregano is an herb that has long been referred to as wild marjoram (oregano is the Spanish name for marjoram, in fact), but the two are different herbs.


Oregano is commonly used to flavor the tops of pizzas, but it is more uncommonly known as the herb of superstition. It is said that if you anoint yourself with oregano before sleeping, you will dream of your future spouse, and that newly married couples were crowned with wreaths of oregano to encourage good health and good luck. It was also placed on graves to give peace to departed spirits and strewn on the ground to repel snakes.


Dried oregano leaves mixed with honey will fade bruises. Or you can make lemonade using the recipe below.


Oregano Lemonade




1/4 ounce fresh oregano, coarsely chopped

1/2 gallon boiling water

4 cups sugar

2 quarts lemon concentrate

Place fresh oregano in gallon jar; pour boiling water over it. Cover loosely. Allow to steep overnight. Strain oregano from tea and add sugar and lemon concentrate. Delicious, refreshing and good for you!


-- Courtesy of The Darby Field Inn in New Hampshire


Parsley-Walnut Pesto




2 cups (tight packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves

3/4 cups toasted chopped walnuts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Make the pesto: Place parsley, walnuts, cheese, garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until well combined. Combine oil, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. Add the oil mixture to parsley mixture in a low stream, pulsing to combine. Serve immediately or freeze.


To freeze: Divide pesto into preferred serving sizes, and place in small re-sealable plastic bags or small plastic containers with airtight lids. Force excess air out of the container, and freeze for up to three months. Freeze in small portions, and use it to add distinction to meals: Spread it on crusty bread, stir it into rice for a sophisticated side dish or place a dollop atop a fish fillet for an elegant finish.


Yields 2 cups, serves 8.


-- Courtesy of Country Living