Gardening

Growing Herbs for Cooking: Sure Success

Feel like growing a few useful plants for the kitchen but don’t have too much room? A small garden of  aromatic herbs is the solution !

I have a friend who had this problem … an interior patio without much space and the illusion of cultivating. A few days ago we decided that we could start a small pot of aromatic plants, and the first thing for that is to decide which plants to plant.

In today’s post we will see what are some of the aromatic herbs that can be easily grown in a small home garden , then we will choose which ones we will grow and, in a few weeks, I will show you what the small vertical aromatic garden that we are going to set up in your yard. Let’s do it! 

Benefits of aromatic herbs

Aromatic herbs are very useful for cooking , basic in many of the dishes of Mediterranean cuisine. If you do not have enough space to grow a large garden but you are bitten by the bug of growing at home, a pot of aromatic plants is a good alternative because these plants:

  • They take up little space.
  • They do not need much care, they are easy to grow.
  • They can grow without problems in pots.
  • They can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
  • They do not attract too many bugs or pests because insects usually do not like their pungent odor.
  • They are ornamental and will give your small patio, balcony or your kitchen a special touch of color and aroma.
  • Many of the aromatic herbs are perennial, which means that you do not have to sow them every year, if you take good care of them they will last you several seasons.
  • Some, like basil, are quite expensive, so you will save on the shopping cart.

Examples of aromatic herbs for cooking

We are now going to see examples of dishes in which some of the most common aromatics are used:

BASIL

It is usually consumed fresh. It is the main ingredient in the famous pesto sauce, perfect to accompany pasta. A few leaves of this plant will give a unique touch to your  salads.

The  caprese salad ,  for example, based on basil, mozzarella and tomato, is a typical Italian dish that is easy to make and is very fresh and tasty.

In addition, like most of the herbs that we will see today, basil is very useful together with garden plants, such as tomatoes or peppers, because it helps repel their pests. In the post on how to plant and care for basil in pots you have more information about this delicious aromatic.

CHIVE

Its leaves are like hollow stems and are used fresh or dried as decoration and dressing in a lot of dishes : soups, sauces, salads, baked potatoes … Last summer I tried some delicious scallops with chives sauce !

The bulbs can be pickled for quite some time and are also used in salads (it is a lily like onion, so the bulb has a similar flavor).

CUMIN

It’s a staple in many  fish marinades, but also roasts and meat stews. It is used, for example, to make recipes for couscous or in Mexican guacamole and it is basic in many sauces or aromatic condiments such as curry, based on various aromatics or spices.

DILL

Its fresh leaves are used in soups, salads or rice . Also in pasta sauces , for potatoes … Its seeds or the parts of the plant that contain them are a dressing for pickles.  

MINT AND MINT

Due to their intense and fresh flavor, they are the base of sauces for meat, condiments in salads, fillings … They are also used as  garnish in many dishes,  and are basic in many  desserts and drinks , such as mojito.

OREGANO

Use oregano to give a special touch to your pizzas, salads, grilled meat or fish, fillings … It has a flavor that combines well with many foods and with other plants to make more aromatic sauces or dressings.

PARSLEY

It is one of the most popular and versatile aromatic herbs used in the kitchen. Its leaves and stems are used fresh or dry to flavor a lot of dishes: fish, sauces, meats, fillings …

The other day I cooked Moussaka and the dressing of the minced meat, based on parsley, gave it a unique touch.

ROSEMARY and THYME

It is ideal, for example, to make flavored oils , you just have to put several twigs in a clean and empty bottle and add the oil. In three weeks you will have a tasty rosemary oil for your salads, roasts or sauces, and it will last you several months.

They also go very well as a condiment in stews and roasts (especially lamb), and are used in infusions. 

SAGE

Its leaves are used to flavor soups, sauces, rice, roast meatsSage is also used in infusions  for its medicinal and beneficial properties for our body .

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