Herbs are one of my favorite types of plants to grow and cook with. Just a small amount can completely change the taste of a dish, and there are so many different types, the possibilities are endless. We all know to put basil and oregano on pizza, mint in our tea, and rosemary on chicken. This month, challenge yourself to cook with an herb you’ve never used before, or use herbs as a new addition to a familiar recipe.
Basil, mint, and sorrel can be delicious chopped up in a salad for some extra flavor. Lavender and lemon balm can be steeped in hot water, then strained to make a relaxing tea. Marjoram and lemongrass can be used to flavor soups, and fennel can be added to roasted chicken and vegetables.
Buying fresh herbs can be expensive, but the plants can be found in any nursery and are easy to care for. They are happy either in pots or in the ground, and you can enjoy the benefits of perennial herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano year after year.
Try making chimichurri sauce, this month’s highly anticipated June recipe. It can be used as a condiment on grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables, or used as a marinade.
Recipe by Robin Forte
1 Tbsp. onion, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. salt
1 c. cilantro, chopped
1 c. parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
⅔ c. extra-virgin olive oil
Combine minced onion, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, and salt in a medium-size bowl, add chopped herbs and olive oil.
Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.