Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Essential Herbs in a Chefs Garden

Herbs can be found in everything from from desserts, to cocktails. I much prefer to use fresh herbs whenever possible. Therefore, I would like to give you my top 5 herbs to grow in your own terracotta pots.

1. Basil
2. Mint
3. Cilantro
4. Parsley (Italian)
5. Rosemary or DillBasil (pictured)- I use this in many dishes. Anything that involves cheese or tomatoes can safely use fresh Basil. I love marinating sliced tomatoes in Olive Oil with Garlic and fresh Basil overnight. Basil is my go to staple Herb. Whenever I move, I always plant a fresh pot of Basil. Above is my new Basil plant in California.

Mint - I think Mint may have even more uses than Basil. It is such a pungent and flavorful herb. For me, drinks are its primary use, although it complements any fresh fruit. I also use it in Salsas and Desserts. Just understand that Mint is an invasive herb, and will take over the area where you plant the herb. To start out with, I would highly suggest a terracotta pot for this one.

Cilantro - The Mexican/Spanish Herb. Definitely a must for Salsas, Guacamole and fresh Tacos. There is no comparison when it comes to a Mexican dish with and without fresh Cilantro.

Parsley - The good old Italian Herb. Can be found in many Soups and Italian Dishes. A great versatile Herb to have on hand.

Rosemary, Dill- Fresh Rosemary is a taste to experience. Once you start cooking with Fresh, you will never go back. Dill has a distinct taste and complements Carrots among other things. However, I feel the herb has a more narrow appeal than the other herbs listed.
Other Herbs I would consider are Thyme, Sage and Lavender.

I hope you enjoyed my top 5, now it's time to go find some Herbs, get a few pots and plant your own, before you know it your cooking will be more robust, flavorful and enhanced.

Directions for planting: Take plant and break apart the root system. Put an inch - two inches of soil in the bottom of your pot. Add plant. Hold it up so that the roots are about an inch below the surface of the pot, and add soil to fill up the pot. Add water. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

Thanks for commenting!
I can't wait to have a more permanent address so that I can start my own little herb garden. Fresh mint sounds fantastic.

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