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! You probably have a few herbs you’re used to cooking with — basil on pizza, mint in 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.
This month, try making Chimichurri Sauce, a very popular recipe from years past. 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 cup red wine vinegar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
⅔ cup 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 and mix.
Ava Castro is a garden educator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.