Herbs Du Jour

Published March 11th, 2019

The aroma of fresh herbs added to meals cooked at home brings everyone running to the dinner table. For about the price of packaged fresh herbs, you can buy an entire plant from Fresh Thyme to grow in your own kitchen. Now that’s freshness at your fingertips!

Herbs

Grow

To transplant herbs, use quality potting soil and pots with good drainage holes; place on saucers to collect excess water. Set plants in a warm, sunny spot with 6 hours of sun a day. Water according to plant tag instructions (about twice a week); it is better to under rather than overwater. Snip off flower buds that form to keep the plant bushy and productive. Add a slow-release organic fertilizer for healthy growth.

Harvest & Snip

For most herbs (such as basil, cilantro, dill, mint, and sage), pluck leaves as you need them; chop or shred. In cooked dishes, stir in herbs at the end of cooking or at serving time to preserve delicate flavors.
For parsley, cut stems from the outer edges of the plant—do not cut the top, or you’ll stunt its growth.
Harvest woody herbs, such as rosemary, by snipping off a stem or two; add the whole sprig to the dish being cooked (such as salmon or beef) then remove before serving. For bushy herbs, including oregano and marjoram, simply trim 1 or 2 inches off the top and toss the pieces into soups, stews, egg dishes, and more.

Use Fresh or Dry

As a general rule, for recipes use 1 Tbsp. fresh herbs in place of 1 tsp. dry herbs. Fresh herbs are best when finishing a dish—basil, for example, to top pasta or pizza. Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh and are best for foods that require long cooking, such as marinara or soup. Sprinkle fresh herbs on cooked foods to add aroma and depth of flavor.

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