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Spice up your plate and palate with herbs

Spice up your plate and palate with herbs

Ever get in a rut with the same old flavor at meal time? Does your dinner plate need some spark? Consider fresh herbs grown in your living space or on a window sill in your kitchen to provide you access to fresh flavor. If you've never considered growing herbs don't be intimidated—you don't need to be a master gardener or chef. Your local greenhouse or garden store can help you choose a starter plant and give you suggestions.

Growing an Herb Garden

  • Start with an herb (and flavor) that you enjoy and have tasted before. Don't grow it if you won't use it.
  • Pot the herb plant in a large pot with potting mix to encourage growth. Ask your local gardening store to recommend a brand. Herbs need soil that drains easily.
  • Herbs need a sunny spot to grow and regular watering—make sure not to over-water. Ask your local gardening store about how to best care for your plant.

How to use Herbs for the Best Flavor

When adding herbs to your entrée or recipe, remember you need less to flavor if the herb is dried and more with fresh herbs.

Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking time to capture their flavor–don't overcook. Here are some guidelines:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh herb
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled and dried herb
  • ¼ teaspoon ground and dried herb

Match Herbs and Flavor Your Favorites - My Top Five!

  1. Pair fresh basil leaves with slices of mozzarella and tomato then drizzle with olive oil
  2. Chop parsley and cilantro and mix with leafy greens for salad
  3. Add dill sprigs to baked salmon or wrap fresh salmon sprinkled with rosemary in foil and grill 
  4. Sauté green beans with chive and olive oil
  5. Ice water infused with honeydew melon, strawberries and mint leaves
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