Singing The Praises Of Fresh Herbs:
I planted a bitty container garden of herbs this spring. The plants are doing great and I'm reaping the benefits of fresh herbs in my salads, soups, sandwiches and pretty much any thing I cook these days! I love black bean tortilla soup and I always add chopped cilantro.
This season I have the following herbs growing in my backyard: rosemary, marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil, chives, mint, Italian flat-leaf parsley, cilantro and sage. I also have holy basil but it's an ornamental.
Minted Fresh Fruit Salad is excellent and I adore making it in the summer using fresh mint. I'll be blogging about it the next time I make it so I will include the recipe. It's very simple and refreshing. I want some right now!
Something I learned in my Botany course in college that I've always found interesting about herbs: the ones in the family Lamiaceae (mints) have square stems rather than round cylindrical stems!
There are about 3500 species in the mint family including basil, rosemary, savory, thyme and sage. The family keeps growing, however, because mint can easily hybridize. Very cool.
In the morning after breakfast I go out and water my little green culinary buddies. I take a few clippings of the herbs I want to use for the day and store them on the counter top in a little jar with water. So pretty! It's just like having a little flower for your bud vase except with the little herb sprigs you can gaze at them and anticipate using them in your cooking throughout the day. My herbs add a level of bright and fresh yummy to my food that I don't get with dried herbs.