8 perennial herbs to grow for an endless supply

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PPlanting perennial herbs in the garden means you never have to spend an additional $ 2.99 at the grocery store for just a handful of leaves. And to avoid an unintentionally bland diet – or worse, an erroneously tasteless meal for guests – it’s important to know which herbs will add the most versatility to your kitchen.

“More herbs are great to add to your garden if you love to cook and want to have a reliable supply that grows back every year,” says Rebecca Sears, chief garden guru at Ferry-Morse. While some perennial herbs will only come back in warmer climates, do not worry. Today, there are plenty of innovative garden solutions, so you can emulate the necessary climate from the comfort of a protected counter or indoor window sill.

Of course, not all perennials are the same. Depending on the variety, Sears says light exposure and irrigation requirements will vary. “Herbs like thyme, oregano, mint and rosemary need full sun, whereas lavender and sage will do just fine in partial shade,” she says as an example, noting that seed packets show the specific directions for each type of perennial herb. “How often you water your herbs also depends on the variety – chives and mint should be watered once or twice a week, but thyme and rosemary do not need as much hydration once established (once every 10 to 15 days is abundant). ”

Aside from care instructions, Sears says adding perennial herbs to your garden will transform the dishes you make. “What I love about home-grown herbs is the aroma – dried or ground herbs [like those that are store-bought] lose their blows over time, ”she says. “Cooking with fresh herbs gives wonderful aromas and a clean, pure taste. [Quite simply,] fresh herbs promise every meal. “

In addition to the scent of herbs, their taste – and nutrition – is unsurpassed. “As I always tell my clients, herbs are one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants,” says dietitian Jennifer Maeng, MS, RDN, based in New York. “Herbs also add so much flavor to food, so if you’re trying to cut down on salt, try tasting your food with fresh herbs. Fortunately, herbs are really easy to grow, especially at your sunny windowsill. All you have to do is water them regularly. “

Inspired to start cooking with fresh herbs? Keep reading to learn more about perennial herbs, including which ones you can add to your garden for endless taste in all your cooking endeavors.

The best perennial herbs to plant

1. Parsley

Whether you put it on top of your potatoes or chop in your salad, parsley gives a tasty punch. But that’s not all! “Parsley is high in vitamins C and K and is packed with antioxidants,” says Maeng. “It’s great in not only Italian food, but to add to salads, make sauces with and to garnish.”

2. Coriander

Delicious on tacos, in salsa and on top of cereal bowls, coriander is a particularly popular herb to combine with Mexican food. “Cilantro provides an excellent source of vitamins K and C, as well as vitamin A,” says Maeng. “Cilantro also has many different types of antioxidants, one of which is polyphenols, which are responsible for reducing inflammation and preventing cell damage.”

3. Chives

You can sprinkle them on potatoes, in omelettes, on salads and in sauces – no matter how you use them, chives help pump up the flavor of many popular dishes. Sears says one of her favorite ways to use chives is when she grills fish and whips a homemade dumpling sauce.

4. Mint

Great in both food and drink, mint can be used in different ways in the kitchen. “Mint is a source of vitamin A, as well as folate and iron,” says Maeng. “Menthol in mint tea in particular may be helpful when you experience menstrual cramps during your period due to its direct effect on a receptor called Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin-8 (TRPM8).”

5. Sage

Sage. For an earthy, tasty effect, Sears recommends adding sage to your kitchen garden. “My favorite quick and easy dinner is mushroom ravioli tossed in a brown butter sage sauce,” she says. “This classic northern Italian sauce takes five minutes to prepare, and the fresh sage, soaked in butter, smells and tastes great. Don’t forget to grate a little Parmigiano Reggiano cheese upstairs! ”

Aside from taste, Maeng says sage is high in antioxidants and minerals, such as magnesium, copper and zinc. “In Eastern medicine, sage is used to treat cough as they believe it is an expectorant,” she adds. “Personally, I use sage to make this fragrant and delicious fried salsa verde.”

6. Thyme

Although most people do not think of thyme when they think of mint (and its taste profile), Maeng points out that thyme is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family. “Thymol found in thyme is known for its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties,” she adds, noting that thyme oil is often used to prevent gingivitis for this reason. “I love using thyme in many dishes I make at home from dressings to sauces, but it goes especially well with seafood.”

Sears adds to this and notes that thyme is an amazing perennial herb for marinades. “I chop something, mix it with olive oil and salt and pepper, and then toss with butternut squash in cubes,” she says. Spread the squash on a baking sheet and fry at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes, until golden and tender. Divine. “

7. Rosemary

Rosemary is another perennial herb that is especially delicious in marinades. “Rosemary oil is high in antioxidants, but more interestingly, a few small studies showed that rosemary oil, when inhaled, can improve alertness without side effects or complications,” says Maeng, noting that rosemary oil can help shift workers stay awake. “Rosemary goes very well with meat dishes, sauces and dressings. If you have remnants of rosemary sprigs, you can either freeze them or use them as an air freshener! ”

8. Basil

Basil is especially popular in pasta dishes, especially because of the way it goes well with pomodoro sauce as well as pesto. “Basil is high in many vitamins and minerals, but it is especially abundant in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin,” says Maeng. “Lutein belongs to the carotenoid group, which is essential for eye health.”

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