Tasting Better With Herbs

spring time
Herbs do well in container gardens, window boxes and raised beds. If herbs are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them cooking and serving every meal.

Sage does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody too soon. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted after about 3 years since it will become woody with few leaves no matter what you do. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them safe after drying you will have that wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects. Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so I feel that each harvest yields two separate things: leaves and stems. Keep the stems in a freezer bag in my freezer and use them for grilling skewers. Since rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water but likes to dry out between waterings, I think that being in its own container or in a dry herb garden bed.

Basil is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you can be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

herb raised bed garden Thyme is an often undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs! It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering.{Grows well with Sage}. Some varieties grow into small shrub-like plants that enhance an entrance, and its tiny purple flowers are lovely.

Mint is notorious for getting away from the gardener. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is also so tasty, it should be used more often so keep it handy.

Common Herb Usage
Chives Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Frozen Soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Dried Game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegars, salads, mustards, sauces hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar, Soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Oregano{Greek} Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Sauces white and tomato, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegars.

Rosemary Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Sage Leaves/Flowers Fresh or Dried
Stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh herb butter toast, baked potato’s and fresh garden salads.

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8 responses to “Tasting Better With Herbs

  1. We are a city living nation and has very little space.Herbs are expensive in Singapore and it is a luxurious treat to use them in our daily diet. We usually buy them on special occasions or when eating out in restaurants. Fresh Italian Basil is one of my favourite.I think mint should thrive here but I do not have much use of it as I do not really like them. Are there any herbs that may grow well in small pots for me to try planting if I could lay my hands on some of these seeds (in the first place)? Our weather is equatorial tropical, hot and humid all year round with monson season. Thank you, Po.

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    • Re: Sam Han – (Po.) Thanks for taking time to visit my tiny humble blog.
      I have had much success growing herbs in pots as small as 4 inches(10cm) wide and the same deep {bigger is better}, filled with any quality potting soil. Herbs need good light, a south facing window or patio is perfect. Most are not heavy feeders and do not need regular feedings. Just check your pots everyday to see if they need watering. Rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano requires less water and soil should be allowed to dry between watering.
      Good luck and tasty eating with herbs.

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  2. Great post Po. There are so many wonderful herbs that are easy to grow and use, I’m not sure why more folks don’t grow them. Another great idea is to tuck them in amongst the flowers. Many herbs have distinctive leaves that add interest to the flower beds and help fill ‘holes’ when other flowers have gone by or are between flowering.

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  3. I have a herb garden and couldn’t imagine being without it! I like your herb butter idea.

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    • I learned that trick from a Taverna {Greek out door cafe} that I eat at often when I was living in Drama, Greece
      Thanks for visiting my tiny humble blog

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  4. Your tips are always so helpful. I love reading your posts!

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