What Are Your Favorite Summertime Herbs?

Herbs play a major role in the kitchens of many home cooks. We rely on them to amp up or round out flavor, and sometimes just add them for color or garnish.

But recently in his column for The New York Times, Mark Bittman claims that herbs are underrated. He says it's time to actually rely on them as a main ingredient versus using them as more of a peripheral afterthought. When was the last time you did this?

Some herbs certainly work better than others in terms of using large quantities. Bittman identifies basil, parsley and cilantro as major players while he suggests caution and more of a light hand with stronger herbs like lavender, oregano, rosemary and sage. The gist: "Strong herbs cannot serve as a main ingredient, but they can provide good backup for mild herbs."

So we'd like to know: what are your favorite summertime herbs and how do you use them? Have you experimented with herbs in cocktails, green salads, or other summer dishes this season?

A Few Herb-Centric Recipe To Get Started:

Herb Salad - 101 Cookbooks
Spinach and Fresh Herb Frittata - The New York Times
Cranberry Bean Salad with Celery, Basil, and Mint - Food and Wine

Related: Summer Living: Cooking With Fresh Herbs

(Images: Fairfax County and LivinginMonrovia via Flickr)