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Herbal Essences

Handfuls of fragrant herbs take simple summer dishes to the next level

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As bouquets of fresh-picked herbs start appearing alongside piles of spring and summer produce at the farmers’ market, now’s the time to branch out from the classic basil-tomato, parsley-potato combos. In the following recipes, sage offers a satisfying counterpoint to a chunky tomato sauce, basil gets paired with fruit and watercress for an appetizer with a fragrant bite, a parsley-mint-oregano trio tops smoky grilled eggplant, and finely chopped rosemary brings out the mild sweetness of apples in homey oat bars. They all showcase how herbs can turn simple dishes into inventive, impressive offerings that you’ll want to make over and over while the bounty lasts.