Want to learn how to use uncommon herbs in your recipes? Then read on as we explore some of the more unusual herbs, along with ways to include them in your culinary capers!
Have you ever wanted to know exactly which herbs work best with which foods? How many times have you picked up a spice jar only to put it back down again– afraid to take that culinary leap? And even more importantly, how many times have you looked at the cost of fresh or dried herbs and decided that a new recipe is just too expensive?
Growing your own herbs makes becoming a better cook easier, less expensive and definitely more satisfying. And knowledge is power! So read on for a primer on some of the more uncommon herbs you can grow.
The whole plant is edible, including the blossoms and seeds. Often mistaken for a type of lettuce, this herb is an aromatic and spicy addition to salads, including potato salads. You can cook it and use it the same way you use spinach.
Also called Mexican parsley, it’s a must-have for the best salsa. It has a more vibrant flavor than parsley, and is excellent paired with white onions. Cilantro is a staple in many other ethnic cuisines, as well.
Not just for potpourri! It can be used in the kitchen to flavor sugar, which can then be used for baking, in teas, or in coffee. You can make lavender syrup or a lavender spread for your English muffin. And don’t forget lavender ice cream! You can also substitute lavender in almost all savory-type recipes that call for rosemary (just use double the lavender).
Great on vegetables and in stuffing for meats, as well as in soups and egg dishes. Often used interchangeably with oregano, marjoram is milder and usually sweeter. It will complement most pasta, vegetable and meat dishes.
Has a bright, spicy, piney taste and is used to flavor meats, though it can also be used to spice up punches and desserts. Have extra? Infuse olive oil, or mix it with softened butter for rolls or potatoes. Add it to Greek yogurt, to marinades, to roasted vegetables, and to fruits. Rosemary is fun to experiment with!
Just a touch can reap fantastic rewards. This perennial is commonly used in French, Creole and Cajun cooking. It’s excellent in fish and chicken dishes. Its flavor is somewhat pungent; some describe it as ‘clove-like’.
Why Grow Your Own Herbs?
So you don’t have to pay the high price at the grocery store.
Because the smell of fresh herbs is intoxicating.
And because bunches of fresh herbs tied with raffia bows or pretty ribbons make fantastic gifts!
By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
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