Did you spend the winter growing herbs indoors? Warmer temperatures means it’s finally time to get outdoors and start gardening! Whether you’re a first timer in the garden or you’re a trained veteran, knowing what you’re going to be planting this year is extremely important before getting outside. While many enjoy planting a variety of flowers and other shrubbery, planting some cooking herbs will not only make your garden smell fantastic but it’ll benefit your efforts in the kitchen as well! Here are 6 cooking herbs that you can grow with ease.
This herb is well known for its presence in many Italian dishes, but did you know that it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow and maintain? Whether you decide to keep them whole or chop them up, you can use basil in anything from soups and sauces to fish or meat. The warm, spicy flavor will definitely boost the taste of your meal as well as add some great health benefits. And really, can you imagine a better herb for the summertime?
If there’s any herb that reminds me of the warmer weather, it’s definitely dill. This herb is usually found paired with cucumbers or in dips, and has a sharp, slightly bitter taste. The great thing about dill is that it can be used in so many different dishes and all you need is a little bit to make a big difference in terms of flavor. Another great thing about dill is that both the seeds and the actual herb are used in all sorts of vegetable recipes, so no part is wasted!
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The flavor of mint is so commonly known throughout America that growing this herb is really a no-brainer. You can brew these leaves into tea, use it to garnish cold drinks or even make them into sauce or jelly. This herb is also extremely easy to grow, whether you choose to do it in the fall or spring.
Not only does this herb add a great deal of freshness to food but it also has many health benefits that everyone could use. Parsley can be used in salads, soups, stews, casseroles and omelets. Another great use for parsley is on fish tacos or in dips to add a unique, lemony flavor and slight crunch.
If you don’t think you have time to plant this herb, you’re really missing out. Thyme is a phenomenal herb that has a great flavor as well as an incredible aroma. You can rub chopped thyme leaves into beef, lamb, veal or pork before roasting or sprinkle leaves over eggs, cheese or vegetables. Thyme can also be used in soups, stews, stuffing and rice to add a distinctively fresh element.
Cilantro is most commonly found sprinkled on top of burritos or tacos. It’s a very popular herb used in Latin American cooking, but it also has many great uses in other ethnic recipes as well. The cool flavor you get from cilantro is one that you either love or hate, so make sure you pick a side before growing this herb in your garden.
images license: Creative Commons
Container plant photo by KateMonkey. All herb photos by Dreamstime.