Some people say that eating gluten and allergen-free can be bland and boring. If you think this is true, try spicing up both your recipes, and your life, with fresh herbs.
Fresh herbs are, hands-down, my all-time favorite way to spice up any dish. I am an herb-maniac of sorts. Depending on my mood or fancy I reach for different herbs. A bit of cilantro can add a southwestern flair to any dish, the scent of sage comforts me and makes me think of my favorite gluten-free Thanksgiving stuffing, and the taste of basil makes me think of my Italian grandpa’s specialties.
This year I decided to plant fresh herbs in containers placed strategically around my terrace and back deck, rather than plant them directly in my garden. I decided to do this so I could enjoy the greenery and scents of the herbs more easily, have relatively low-maintenance terrace gardening, and, most importantly, so I can bring the pots inside and continue to grow some of the herbs throughout the fall, and hopefully even throughout the winter.
Following are the herbs I am growing this year, and my favorite ways of using these herbs:
Basil: My all-time favorite herb. Used frequently in Italian dishes, I am looking forward to using it in making my favorite Classic Pesto Sauce, topping mozzarella and fresh garden tomatoes, and atop a gluten-free margarita pizza. Delicious!
Rosemary: My favorite use for rosemary is to use the woody stems as “kabobs” when I cook up chicken or pork on the grill. Using rosemary stems as skewers infuses the oils of the herb right into the meat while cooking. Amazing.
Dill: I use dill in many of my sauces, dressings, soups and atop fish. I am also looking forward to trying my hand at canning dill pickles this year with fresh cucumbers from my garden. Wish me luck!
Sorrell: I love to toss young sorrel leaves in with my salad greens or crushed on top of soups and stews.
Thyme: A favorite with fish and also as a seasoning for root vegetables such as carrots.
Cilantro: My favorite way to use cilantro is in my homemade salsa. Always a crowd pleaser, and always requested again and again.
Chives: A favorite added to omelets, mashed potatoes, sauces and salad dressings. Chives delicate onion flavor is versatile and makes it an all-around popular herb for many dishes.
What’s are your favorite herbs, and ways to use them?