Updated: Oct 29, 2018
Spring is here and I have been inspired to create my own herb garden. Fresh herbs add great flavors to the dish but have also healthy benefits.
So which herbs are easy to grow and taste heavenly? I have prepared list of my 5 favourites:
An aromatic herb from mint family is perfect for stews, soups and marinades. It's better to just use the leaves and leave out the wooden stems unless cooked in soup and removed before serving. It works well in Risotto, I often add it to tomato sauce or on baked fish. It's great to use for marinating meat (e.g. chicken or lamb) together with rosemary and sage.
Needle looking rosemary goes perfectly hand in hand with thyme and can be used for meat and fish marinating and in tomato sauces. To add great taste sprinkle it over baking parsnips when preparing roast dinner (together with something sour e.g. vinegar or lemon juice). If you are not keen on the needle texture, cut rosemary into tiny pieces which cooks better.
Fantastic Mediterranean herb adding flavour to pasta dishes and sauces. It's also perfect as pizza topping or in marinades. Oregano makes savory pesto as a replacement for basil (mix olive oil, pine nuts, oregano and Parmesan cheese).
Another very fragrant and easy to grow plant. Actually so easy, that it can potentially take over your garden if not regularly cut, so keep it rather in the flower pot. Boiled chocolate mint makes perfect tea or can be added fresh to salads, this herb is great for your digestion. For refreshing Tzatziki mix the mint with yogurt (Greek), garlic, olive oil, salt and finely chopped cucumber (drain the liquid from cucumber before mixing in). I am definitely going to try it in roasted lamb seasoning together with rosemary and lavender.
Heavenly smelling lavender is slowly making way into kitchen. Sometimes being part of Herbs de Provence, lavender adds great taste to food. There are two types of lavender, ornamental and culinary. English lavender is fine to use for cooking. Lavender buds should be picked on the dry day and still closed while harvested, kept for 2-3 days in dark and in airtight jar away from daylight afterwards. In small quantities it can be added to salt and seasoned over potatoes or sprinkled over baking fish. Or it could be mixed with sugar and used in baking.
All herbs must be regularly pinched to keep them under control. Most of them can be dried or frozen too and used later in cooking.