Resolution: Pot Some Cooking Herbs This Summer
Linda Grasso - Having herbs in your garden is not only pretty and wonderfully aromatic, but as most cooks will agree, it makes good sense! There is nothing easier than taking a few steps outside and snipping fresh herbs to add flavor to a dish. Plus you don't have to waste the rest of the gigantic herb bunch you bought at the grocery store - something that always makes me feel bad.
And, here's the best part of all. You don't have to have a large yard, or any yard for that matter, to enjoy herbs of your own. Recently, while doing the La Jolla Historical Society's Secret Garden Tour, I noticed how cleverly people were using herbs. One woman had a stunningly vivid green basil growing in a pot next to a display of flowers on a step. It was displayed as a beauty all of it's own - right next to the more labor intense, expensive arrangements. At another home on the tour, the owners filled the bark bed underneath a palm tree with potted herbs. It looked quaint and lovely - as if the herbs simply belonged there!
When making your selections, have fun with herbs - don't feel like you have to stick to the tried and true. Do basil, but try some fun variations like cinnamon, thai, or lemon basil. Those dark-hued leaves will look gorgeous when chopped and sprinkled over yellow or red summer tomatoes.
Get some pretty variegated thymes or a lemon thyme. If you live in California, this is a perennial, so your thymes will last from season to season in your pots. Sometimes, with arrangements, I leave in the thyme and simply switch out the annual flowers.
Don't forget chives and mint which grow fast, and you will use them again and again in recipes. If you're in the nursery and having a hard time deciding, pop a petal in your mouth and let your palate decide!
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