Garden Ventures

I’m giddy with excited about my herb garden this year! Probably more so than my decorative flowers. Having the herb garden just steps from my back door makes cooking with a handful of fresh basil or baking a rosemary focaccia so easy!

Herbs have been used for thousands of years to flavor and preserve foods, as medical treatments, to ward off pests and diseases, to freshen air and to decorate.

I’m sticking with those that can be easily grown in the Midwest and have practical application for the types of cooking I do on a regular basis. That might make it sound easy, however, for something as simple as basil there are still 64 basil species!

Basil:   I’m sticking with the “sweet” or common basil (Ocimum basilicum). Fresh sweet basil is highly aromatic, with a distinctive scent and flavor. You will want to avoid using a knife to cut basil. For salads and pasta sauces just shred it with your fingers to avoid bruising and darkening. I like the younger as they have the best flavor… as the leaves get older they have a coarser, stronger taste.

Check back next Monday for a new herb!