Summer is a great time to cook. It’s especially great for cooking with herbs. Whether on the barbeque or in the oven, there are many culinary herbs out there that are easy to care for and grow, yet also can spice up your summer meals. Here are some of our favorites, and what better way to utilize them, then fresh out of your own garden.
A very popular herb for spicing up meat dishes, basil grows in leafy bunches quite easily. All basil plants need a healthy amount of sun and water. Simply snip the leaves and leave the stalks growing in the ground for a long and bountiful harvest of herbal spices. Basil will give your summer dishes a richer, sweeter and more flavorful taste.
To add a refreshing zing to your meals, that isn’t so overpowering that it takes over the entire dish, try growing some fresh parsley. It sticks together in short, lush, and leafy bunches and gives your garden a more full appearance if planted strategically. Parsley, like most herbs, more susceptible to pests due to their leaves and strong scent, but they also attract a few flies.
Cilantro is ideal for treating many health issues because it’s incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s even known to help reduce inflammation. Their seeds themselves are even beneficial, known to improve blood sugar and digestion. They have a strong flavor and aroma. Cilantro is a polarizing flavor. It can be overpowering to some people, but enticing to others. For a spicy zest and a dash of heat, you can’t go wrong with this culinary herb.
Lavender, an incredibly beautiful, but also highly beneficial herb, is commonly grown for use in herbal remedies. It’s also perfect for baking and seasoning. A natural deterrent for those pesky mosquitoes, it is grown from seed by sowing indoors. Transplant the plants in the early spring and be sure the seeds are getting the right amount of moisture and humidity, and they will flourish. Lavender does well in containers such as pots and blooms in the summertime. It has a very refreshing and light taste when used in culinary dishes, or even homemade lemonades and teas.
Lemon balm is related to the mint family of herbs, and is quite easy to grow. It’s citrusy aroma will make your summer dishes all the more inviting and bright. It’s a natural way of easing nerve and muscle tension, and can even be used to treat cold sores. Plant lemon balm indoors, in the same way you would for lavender or cilantro, and transplant the plants either in the spring or fall. This is one of only a few select herbs that can be cut all the way back to rejuvenate. Expect a tangy, citrusy taste that is refreshing and sweet. This herb pairs great with chicken and fish.
There are many different herbs that you can use to create and enhance wonderful meals. For more information on how to get the perfect herb garden set up, contact us today.