Indoor Herb Gardening: Adding Homegrown Flavor to Recipes
Even if the temperatures are cold outside or the snow is piling up in the yard, you can still grow herbs indoors to add some homegrown flavor to your recipes year-round. All you need is a few pots, good soil, seeds or plants, water and light, and a little TLC.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite herbs:
- Chives: This herb can be tossed onto dishes at the last minute and enhance the flavors in dips, quesadillas, and baked potatoes.
- Oregano: This herb tastes great sprinkled on salads, on pizza and in tomato sauces. You can also add it to vinaigrette, or use it with poultry, game, or seafood dishes.
- Basil: This herb is good in sauces, sandwiches, soups, and salads, and mixes well with tomatoes.
- Mint: This herb is good for both sweet and savory dishes and is added to dishes like lamb, peas, carrots, ice cream, and drinks like tea, mint juleps, and mojitos.
- Parsley: This herb is often used for decorative purposes on plates and also can add flavor to roasted lamb, grilled steaks, fish, chicken, and vegetables.
- Cilantro: This common herb adds flavor to salsas, soups, stews, curries, salads, vegetables, fish, and chicken dishes.
- Rosemary: This herb has a strong smell and mixes well with roasted lamb, garlic, olive oil, focaccia, tomato sauce, pizza, and pork.
- Dill: This sharp-tasting herb can add flavor to cottage cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, omelets, seafood, potato salad, pickles, and cucumber dishes.
- Thyme: This herb adds a zip to pork, lamb, duck, or goose, and is used with Cajun and Creole cooking.
Take note of these tips for growing herbs:
- Select a good soil for our plants, such as a good commercial potting soil or a mix of compost and sand, vermiculite, or perlite.
- Water the herb plants when the top of the soil feels dry. Herbs need enough water but be cautious not to overwater. To ensure good drainage, add sand or vermiculite (natural mineral soil conditioner).
- Ensure the plants have enough light and place them in a location that has the right temperature for proper growth. Check the label for instructions. Four to five hours of direct light from a sunny window is usually all it takes.
- Begin using some of the herbs after about 4-6 weeks, depending on the type of herb.
Growing your own herbs is a great pastime and way to ensure you have fresh flavors when you need them. You can also find herbs in the grocery store if indoor herb gardening is not your thing. No matter what method you use to obtain them, cooking with herbs can be enjoyable and tasty for your family.