If your space is limited, or you are not prepared for a full fruit and vegetable garden, then a small porch or window seal herb garden might be for you. You can still enjoy fresh, healthy flavors with very little effort.
Popular fresh garden herbs include basil, chives (common chives and garlic chives), cilantro, dill, mint and parsley. Herbs such as French tarragon (Artemesia dracunculus),
oregano, rosemary, thyme (Thymus serpyllums is a common culinary thyme), sage and winter savory are satisfactory in both fresh and dried forms.
Adding fresh herbs and spices can help you add lots of flavor without added salt or sugars. Here are some simple food/flavor combinations to help you determine which herbs to plant.
BASIL — a natural snipped in with tomatoes; terrific in fresh pesto; other possibilities include pasta sauce, peas, zucchini
CHIVES — dips, potatoes, tomatoes
CILANTRO — Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cooking; salsas, tomatoes
DILL — carrots, cottage cheese, fish, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes
MINT — carrots, fruit salads, parsley, peas, tabouli, tea
OREGANO — peppers, tomatoes
PARSLEY — The curly leaf is the most common, but the flat-leaf or Italian parsley is more strongly flavored and often preferred for cooking. Naturals for parsley include potato salad, tabouli
ROSEMARY — chicken, fish, lamb, pork, roasted potatoes, soups, stews, tomatoes
SAGE — poultry seasoning, stuffings
TARRAGON — chicken, eggs, fish
THYME — eggs, lima beans, potatoes, poultry, summer squash, tomatoes
WINTER SAVORY — dried bean dishes, stews
For fact sheets on storing, drying or freezing herbs contact the OSU Extension Service.
Avocado Breakfast Brochetta
1 ripe avocado
2 medium tomatoes
1 green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (plus 2 tbsp for garnish)
4 eggs (hard-boiled)
12 slices whole-wheat baguette bread
1/4 cup ricotta cheese (reduced-fat)
cracked black pepper to taste
- Dice avocado, tomatoes, and green onions.
- Peel and chop hard-boiled eggs.
- Reserving 2 tbsp. basil for garnish, gently toss first five ingredients in a small bowl. Add pepper to taste.
- Toast baguette slices and smear with ricotta cheese.
- Top with avocado mix and garnish with chopped basil.
340 calories, 17g Total Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 190mg cholesterol, 434mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 9g Fiber, 17g Protein