4 Easy-to-Plant Herbs that Will Take Your Meals from Drab to FAB
The positives from growing your own herb garden (indoors or out) are truly abundant—from saving money to fantastic flavor that encourages you to cook at home more often.
If you're new to the world of horticulture, start small with these four staple herbs. With a few pots, little maintenance and some sunshine, you can enjoy fresh flavors in almost every meal!
Hands down, basil is a must-have when growing your own goodness. This sensational herb loves warm weather (or a sunny windowsill), does well both indoors and out and complements a variety of dinners, side dishes and drinks.
If you're planting it outside, plant it anytime after the last frost. At the end of the season, make homemade pesto with the leftover basil leaves, place it in jars and freeze it for the winter to use on pizza, paninis and pasta.
How to Use It
Basil pairs well with bread, chicken, cheese, eggs, fish, pesto, pasta, pizza, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, tomato sauce, veal, vegetables (eggplant and zucchini in particular) and watermelon.
- It works well in Italian dishes ranging from Caprese salad to pizza.
- It can be used it in collaboration with other herbs, such as rosemary, oregano and thyme.
- Add it to a salad topped with strawberries and dressed with a honey vinaigrette or in a fruit sorbet.
- Toss it with watermelon and tomato drizzled with balsamic.
- Add it (crushed or muddled) to an array of drinks for amazing flavor.
- Thai basil pairs well with coconut and lemongrass.
Our Favorite Recipes Using Basil
This herb pairs well with vegetables, beef, lamb, pork, poultry, steak and savory recipes containing tomatoes, such as slow-cooked dishes, soups, stews and sauces. It's a great herb to have on hand and it grows year-round (cover or bring it inside during a frost).
How to Use It
- Thyme works well in American, French and Mediterranean dishes.
- We frequently toss our grilled vegetables with thyme, EVOO and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt. It keeps grilling simple and delicious.
Our Favorite Recipes Using Thyme
This is another one of our all-time favorite go-to herbs. It pairs especially well with lamb (check out this slow-cooker recipe), chicken and vegetables. It also complements beef, bread, fish, olive oil, potatoes, poultry, pork, stews and holiday stuffing. This hardy herb does well in the summer and winter months.
How to Use It
- Rosemary works well in American, French and Mediterranean dishes.
- You can basically toss rosemary with anything roasted or grilled. Simply remove the rosemary leaves, add a little EVOO, salt and pepper to taste.
- If you’re cooking a stew, consider adding it for a delicious pop of flavor. (We often throw an entire sprig of rosemary in stews to impart an amazing flavor.)
Our Favorite Recipes Using Rosemary
Mint complements zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries and feta cheese. You can add it to pasta or grain salads (this mint salad is in our top 10). BUT our all-time favorite way to use it is muddled in summertime drinks complemented with club soda or seltzer water (strawberry mint mojitos anyone?!).
How to Use It
- Mint works well in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.
- Use it in collaboration with or add it to chocolate, cold pasta/whole grain salads such as tabbouleh, eggplant, jams/jellies, lamb, lemon zest, pistachios, pork, potatoes, salads, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon.
- Infuse your water with it.
Our Favorite Recipes Using Mint
Fresh herbs Bring fantastic flavor
While each of these herbs can be dried, the flavor when using them fresh is like no other. An added bonus is that all that deliciousness is from plants that you grew yourself.
So, head to a nursery, grab yourself these staple herbs and get planting! Your palate, friends and family will thank you!
Let's take our meals from drab to fab with a few fresh herbs — together!
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie
P.S. For a complete breakdown on planting herbs indoors, check out our article How to Create Your Own Indoor Herb Garden.
Supercharge Your Health?
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