Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tidbit: Growing and using fresh herbs

I tend to use dried herbs over fresh most of the time. My excuse? I’ve never had a good sunny window to grow fresh ones through the year.
            This  year I’m going to try growing fresh herbs near my rock garden, potting them in containers to see how they do (this is one of the few all-day sunny spots in my yard).  I hope to pick up basil, thyme and sage (I already have a parsley plant), and maybe a patio tomato, depending on what is available at the market next weekend. Last frost date around here is mid-May.
            As you probably know, using herbs helps add flavor to dishes while helping you reduce added salt.  Basil is great with tomato dishes, but I love how it gives a subtle flavor boost to pea soup. Sage is associated with turkey dinners, but it adds a nice note to many pasta dishes.
            If you are interested in adding some fresh herbs into your meals, check out the four-page Healthy Cooking with Fresh Herbs from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service. They give info about planting an herb garden, freezing herbs, preparing herbs for cooking, and storing fresh herbs.
            They also have a nice one-page handout, Flavor that Food!, which gives suggestions about matching herbs and spices to specific foods.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

I also always grow fennel every year (mostly for the butterfly larvae), but also the "root" of the florence fennel gives great flavor for beef and chicken stir-frys!