There is nothing tastier in any dish or salad than fresh herbs from your garden.
A herb is a plant that is valued for flavour, scent, medicinal or other qualities. Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual usage. General usage differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. In medicinal or spiritual use any of the parts of the plant might be considered “herbs”, including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, resin, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions of the plant.
Certain types of herbs are very easy to grow and are best planted from seed that is sown ‘in situ’ and left to grow and develop before being harvested. The benefit of using this method is that successive batches can be sown at between four- and six-week intervals to maintain a continuous supply of fresh leaves.
Planting into pots or other suitable containers lifts the herbs to a height that makes it easy to plant, maintain and harvest. Most importantly – it is weed-free gardening!
Using Herbs in Baking
Herbs have always been used to flavour food, but one tends to see their use more in terms of roasts, slow-cooked stews, soups and other braised dishes. Baking however, benefits as much as other dishes from the individual and subtle flavouring that herbs provide. For those who love baking, the herb garden offers a wealth of different flavours. There is the sweetness of anise or the spiciness of fennel seed, the fragrance of rosemary or lavender, the tang of chillies or the savoury notes of thyme, oregano, marjoram and chives.
The fresh herbs are added to the dry ingredients and should be chopped as finely as possible (tip- allow the freshly picked herbs to dry out for a day or so before chopping, allowing easy distribution throughout the dough). Herbs can also be used on flat breads and focaccia as a topping. Recommended aromatic herbs are: Rosemary, Thyme, Chives and Garlic chives, Italian parsley, Oregano and Marjoram, Dill or Fennel, Basil and Chilli peppers.