Nothing improves the flavour of pizza, salad, pasta or soup than a handful of fresh herbs. And during the fall and winter months, you can find remnants of dill, thyme, basil or rosemary rolled in damp paper towels, wrapped in plastic bags or standing upright in a cup of water in my fridge. Unfortunately, it seems that whenever a recipe calls for fresh herbs, mine are well past their prime—mushy, dried-up or brown.
During the warm spring and summer months, I try to save money and time by growing my own herbs. The cost of buying seeds or plants at a garden centre pales in comparison to the cost of buying fresh-cut herbs in the grocery store. One bunch of not-really-that-fresh herbs in the grocery store is $1.99 – $3.49, while one pot of fresh herbs (that will continue to grow all season) can be found for $1.99. Last week I picked up a large planter with eight different herb plants in it for $15. I actually made money on that purchase!
It’s also more convenient to have fresh herbs on hand whenever you need them. Whether I am preparing tomato salad for dinner at home, or cooking one of many dishes on the set of EatSavvy, I go through a lot of fresh herbs. Jumping in the car to run to the grocery store for a bunch of cilantro isn’t very savvy.
Plant your herbs in the garden, keep a few pots in your kitchen window or plant them in large containers on your deck or patio. Throw fresh mint leaves in a pitcher of lemonade, chopped basil in your spaghetti sauce, dill in a bowl of potato salad and cilantro in your guacamole. Enjoy the uplifting scents of herbs like rosemary or lavender in your bathroom. If they’re there, you’ll be inspired to use them. The more you pick the herbs, the more they will grow.
What are your favourite tips and tricks?
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