Herbal Kitchen Garden
Herbs come in many tantalizing flavors. They can add a spicy, smoky, tangy, refreshing or exotic touch to an already flavorful dish. The quality of your herbs can also make a huge difference, so why not grow them yourself?
Get Growing: Many varieties of basil are easy to grow in a sunny bed or container, ranging in color from green to purple or bronze, but will not tolerate the cold.
Get Cooking: Fresh basil can be stored for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator or freezer, though dried basil loses most of its flavor. Basil is widely used in many Italian recipes and adds a refreshing burst of flavor to pizzas, pastas and salads. Basil is also the main ingredient in pesto. Some varieties are also used in Asian recipes to add flavor to soups, rice and noodle dishes.
Get Growing: Chives will grow just about anywhere with access to full or partial sun. Plant them in beds, containers or in front of a sunny window.
Get Cooking: Chives are the smallest species of onion and serve as a great compliment to many meat and seafood dishes and soups. They are often used in European dishes to flavor anything from pancakes to cheese.
Get Growing: Lavender will tolerate a lot of heat and sun, but loathes humidity and over watered soil. Harvest after it blooms.
Get Cooking: Lavender is softly aromatic and calming. Use it to add a delightful flavor to baked goods, desserts, chocolates and tea.
Get Growing: Make sure to keep this one out of the cold, but make sure to give it a few hours of shade in the summer, too. Harvest frequently for a bushier plant.
Get Cooking: Marjoram is a little bit minty, a little bit citrusy and just a bit spicy. This complex herb is most often used in English and French dishes but adds a hint of flavor to almost anything, in dressings, rubs, and meat and seafood dishes and in soups.
Get Growing: Rosemary grows well in hot dry climates, but cannot tolerate the cold or wet soil. Make sure to bring it inside when the weather gets chilly and make sure to keep the soil fairly dry.
Get Cooking: Rosemary is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine and is a wonderful addition to stuffing and roast meats.
Get Growing: Thyme grows best in full sun and high heat. It will tolerate slightly moist soil, but grows best in well-drained soil.
Get Cooking: Thyme has been used for centuries in ethnic cuisines around the world. Thyme is best served fresh, but will only stay fresh for about a week. Thyme is most famously used with eggs, tomatoes and lamb, but is also great with meats, soups and stews.