What’s a creamy onion and chives dip without the chives? Or pesto sauce with no basil? Bland, that’s what. So many of our favorite foods need a dash of this or a pinch of that before they’re perfect. But, herbs can add up—both as jars in your pantry and dollars at the grocery store. To save some money and garnish your food with the freshest herbs possible, consider growing your own!
Photo: Cooking Classy
If you’re intimidated by the idea of starting an herb garden, relax. There are plenty of easy-to grow options that add great flavor. Here are 5 quick tips for taking care of some commonly used herbs. For more detailed instructions on growing herbs, read: Start an Herb Garden.
Cilantro. Don’t over-fertilize cilantro. The nitrogen will delay the ripening of the seed, leaving you cilantro-less.
Recipe: Cumin-Scented Eggplant with Pomegranate and Cilantro @ Bon Appetit
Recipe: Kara's Cilantro Chicken @ Delish
Recipe: Cilantro Shrimp and Herb Orzo @ One Sweet World
Oregano. Let your oregano grow for about six weeks and then trim the leaves before they flower. This makes the plant bushier, so you can have all the oregano your heart desires.
Recipe: Kalamata Olive Bread with Oregano @ Cooking Light
Recipe: Grilled Chicken With Roasted Tomato with Oregano Salsa @ Self
Recipe: Green Beans With Oregano @ Recipe.com
Chives. Chives only require occasional watering, but make sure you remove the flowers after they bloom, otherwise they will self-sow and you’ll have an unwanted chive forest in your garden!
Recipe: Spuds Stuffed With Tuna & Chives @ Good Food
Recipe: Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta and Chives @ Bon Appetit
Recipe: Smashed New Potatoes with Garlic & Chives @ Simply Recipes
Basil. Basil loves mulch, water and warm weather. Keep you basil plant moist and in a sunny location.
Recipe: Basil Gimlet @ My Recipes
Recipe: Basil Pesto Recipe @ Unsophisticook
Recipe: Basil Frittata Recipe @ Healthy Recipes
Recipe: Carrot Gnocchi with Basil Pesto @ Vegan for the People
Parsley. Nice and simple. Parsley just needs steady water.
Recipe: Spaghetti With Prawns, Fresh Tomato, Garlic and Parsley @ Taste
Recipe: Lemon Parsley Popcorn @ Weekend Carnivor