September 12, 2022 | Christine Hradek
I live in a small house with just a little bit of outdoor space. In the summer, I try to maximize that space by filling it with pots of flowers, vegetables and herbs. Fresh herbs are something I do not buy at the grocery store very often because they are expensive and often spoil before I can get the package used. So, I see fresh herbs as a seasonal treat I can enjoy from late spring through early fall when I’m growing them. I use dried herbs the rest of the year. Today I would like to share how I use the herbs I grow. Most years I grow basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. I also grow cherry tomatoes in a big flower pot.
- Basil: Because basil grows fast and its flavor changes if the plant is not cut often, I try to use my basil most days. I love to cut up cherry tomatoes from my plant and top them with torn basil and cottage cheese. I am not ashamed to say I eat this almost every day in the summer! Basil is also delicious added to a pasta dish, tomato based sauce or soup at the end of cooking.
- Parsley: To me, parsley is just about the most flexible herb. It is good on so many things. I love it chopped up in salads, it is great on scrambled eggs and it brings a nice freshness when added to pasta or baked dishes like casseroles when they’re finished cooking. It is a very tasty addition to Chickpea Salad!
- Rosemary and Thyme: I grouped these two because I almost always use them together. Unlike basil and parsley, I add rosemary and thyme to foods before they cook rather than at the end. I love roasted potatoes tossed with rosemary and thyme before they go in the oven. Rosemary and thyme are also a delicious addition to stew or slow cooked meats and roasts. These two herbs are very fragrant, so I also cut a little bundle each week to put on my desk. I just love the scent.
If you would like to preserve your herbs to use after the season ends, our friends at the University of Minnesota Extension have a guide to freezing and drying herbs on their website. As we transition into fall, I hope you have had the chance to enjoy some delicious summer foods!