Delicious Summer Cooking With Garden Herbs
One of the joys of summer for me is growing a small kitchen garden. Every year, as soon as the earth starts to warm up, I enthusiastically plant every herb imaginable - basil, mint, dill, oregano, and more! Herbs are ridiculously easy to grow, and most are ready to start harvesting almost immediately.
Sometimes by mid-July, though, I’ve run out of ideas of how to actually consume the herbs, and the plants are starting to get wild and crazy! That’s when I need to remind myself to look for new ways to cook with herbs every day.
Here are some simple non-recipes for using your garden herbs.
Parsley I love flat-leaf parsley, which is the variety that I always plant. Parsley is always a great addition to a simple chopped salad, and it’s an integral part of an amazing tomato salad.
Arrange a variety of sliced tomatoes on a platter (vary the color and size). Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt. Top with chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve with slices of toasted baguettes.
Basil This is probably my favorite herb, and I always put several plants in my garden. The obvious use for basil is pesto, which I make and freeze all summer, but I also love a simple margherita pizza with lots of fresh basil.
Either make your own pizza dough, or buy it frozen from the grocery store. Top dough with pizza sauce and fresh slices of mozzarella cheese. Add fresh basil leaves and bake at 500 until crust is crispy and cheese is melted. Before serving, drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Rosemary Rosemary is hardy, and I’m often still picking it even after the first snow. I love to add rosemary to focaccia and soup in the fall. It also pairs perfectly with almost any kind of potato.
Cube any variety of potato into bite-sized pieces. Make sure they are completely dry and then toss with olive oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. Roast at 450 until golden brown, tossing occasionally .
Dill My dill self seeded this year, so I’ve got lots of it everywhere! Dill is great in a simple slaw with a vinaigrette, or use your garden cucumbers to make a creamy cucumber salad - a summertime staple at my house!
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Peel and thinly slice a large cucumber. Mix ½ c sour cream and 1 T vinegar together. Add salt and pepper to taste and plenty of fresh dill. Toss with cucumbers. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.
What are your favorite way to use herbs in your summer cooking? We would love to hear new ideas in the comments!
April & Abby from everydaytable.org
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