Books for culinary uses and gardening of herbs.

The following are recommended herb books, based on my personal library, and including my own biases and preferences.
- Chris Reeve

Beginner books- introduction to herbs for novices

  • Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs - good all around reference, includes growing instructions for many herbs, also some cooking and craft ideas
    ISBN 0-87857-699-1 Rodale Press 1987.
  • Herbs You can Master -Carol Peterson- good introductory book using common herbs. Includes growing information, harveswting, preserving, medicinal uses and recipes.
    ISBN 0-9639620-0-0 1994 Mountain Garden Publishing
  • The Complete Herb Book -Maggie Stuckey- this is a great little paperback I recommend as a good beginners reference. Contains profiles of many herbs, gardening tips, recipes, crafts, cosmetics, you name it.
    ISBN 0-425-14233-7 1994 Philip Lief Group

Cooking-general cooking with herbs

  • The Good Herb -by Judith Benn Hurley- has recipes for several dozen herbs, including some more obscure ones.
    ISBN 0-688-11324-9 1995 William Morrow
  • The Herb Companion Cooks - a little upscale on some of the recipes, good recipes for entertaining. Recipes from Herb Companion magazine.
    ISBN (none- said it was being applied for) 1994 Interweave Press
  • Country Herb Cooking -Judy Walter- (the owner of Pickity Place, famous for its 5 course herbal luncheons) has recipes for the type of food you'd normally serve to family dressed up with herbs. Also has some interesting menus that were served in the restaurant.
    ISBN 0-8317-4461-8 1993 Smithmark Publishers
  • Summer Herbal Delights, and its companion, Winter Herbal Pleasures -Noel Richardson- the summer volume focuses on the use of fresh ordinary herbs, the winter volume on dried herbs. Recipes are primarily quick, easy and without a lot of ingredients.
    Summer ISBN 0-8069-8346-9 1986 Sterling Publishing
    Winter ISBN 0-8069-8348-5 1990

Specialty Cooking

  • Herbal Vinegars -Maggie Oster- as it says, lots of ideas for combinations, household uses for vinegar, as well as recipes
    ISBN 0-88266-876-5 0-88266-843-9(paperback) 1994 Storey Communications
  • The Basil Book -Marilyn Hampstead- many recipes for my favorite herb, including many different pesto recipes - even a basil dessert
    ISBN 0-671-50685-4 1984 Long Shadow Books
  • Capriland's Herbal Soups for all Seasons -Adelma Grenier Simmons- my personal idol. Different soup ideas for each season. Many recipes use way too much fat for my taste, but I just leave most of the fat out.
    bookletof 60 pages- no ISBN 1995 Clinton Press

Herb and Spice Mixtures

  • The Herbal Pantry -Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead- this is a very pretty book! It contains recipes for spice mixes, jams, liqueurs, mustards etc. A lot of these would be suitable for gifts.
    ISBN 0-517-58331-3 1992 Clarkson Potter
  • Skinny Spices -Erica Levt Klein- its marketed as a diet book, has lots of recipes for spice blends as well as recipes you can use them in.
    ISBN 0-940625-24-5 1990 Surrey Books
  • Herb Mixtures and Spicy Blends -Maggie Oster- filled with herb and spice blend recipes from herb farms all over the US- highly recommended.
    ISBN 0-88266-918-4 1996 Storey Communications

Herbal Tea

  • Thyme and Seasons Herbal Teas -Susan Wittig Albert- a small pamphlet from the author of the China Bayles mystery series. Indicates herb to use for tea as well as sweet and savory accompaniments.
    Thyme and Seasons Books, PO Drawer M, Bertram TX 78605
  • Herb Teas for Pleasure -Pat Humpries and Bertha Reppert- another pamplet that has recipes for teas as well as ideas for theme tea parties
    Rosemary House, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Tea and Tranquility -Adelma Grenier Simmons- covers herbs for tea and recipes, as well as theme teas to match the seasons.
    no ISBN 1990 Clinton Press


  • Making things with Herbs -Elizabeth Walker. Small paperback with herb pillow recipes, potpourri recipes, some bath products
    ISBN 0-87983-156-1 1977 Keats Publishing
  • Herbal Gifts -Joanna Sheen- gifts from fresh herbs, cooking, potpourri, crafts, soaps etc.
    ISBN 0-304-34272-6 1991 Cassell (published in the UK)


  • Bath Scents -Alan Hayes- recipes for lotions, bath herbs, powders, shampoos
    ISBN 0-207-18230-2 1994 Angus and Robertson

General All-around books

these are books that cover multiple topics and I find myself reaching for often

  • The New England Herb Gardener -Patricia Turcotte- despite the name, there are herbs that can be grown in most of the temperate world. Lots of specialty information, like bee and butterfly gardens, herb blends, herb teas, cosmetics, herbs by color and height, theme gardens
    ISBN 0-88150-188-3 1990 Countryman Press
  • The Pleasure of Herbs, and the sequel, Herbal Treasures -Phyllis Shaudys- organized by month, lots of ideas for cooking, crafts, gardening, you name it
    Pleasure of Herbs ISBN 0-88266-430-1 0-88266-423-9(paperback) 1986
    Herbal Treasures ISBN 0-88266-619-3 0-88266-618-5(paperback)
    Storey Communications