If you have a garden, then you’ll already know how wonderful it is to have your own fresh herbs to use in your kitchen, and if you don’t garden I urge you to have a small one of your own!
The easiest thing to do is to buy a perennial plant and transfer it into the ground! Sage, thyme, tarragon, oregano andlemon balm are all great options. They’ll reward you with fresh herbs for years to come. Lavender is also a good hardy shrub. You can use lavender flowers in shortbread or salads for a very unique and delicate flavour.
If you want to try planting seeds, then cilantro is an easy one. It will self seed and come up year after year if you let it flower in the late summer. Save the seeds, dry, and crush for homemade coriander!
Basil can be a little trickier. It needs full sun, plenty of water (but good drainage) and rich soil. As long as you watch it carefully you’ll enjoy its amazing versatility in many dishes. I love it fresh in a salad or made into fresh pesto. It’s most flavourful when eaten raw.
Place 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil into a food processor. Add 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, 2 cloves garlic and gently pulse, adding about 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil as you go. Remove from food processor and put into a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan and salt to taste, if needed.
“I pray your Highness mark this curious herb: Touch it but lightly, stroke it softly, Sir,
And it gives forth an odor sweet and rare;
But crush it harshly and you’ll make a scent
by: Charles Godfrey Leland, Sweet Basil
~ by Kira Neumann, RHN, NNCP