5 Tips for Cooking with Fresh Herbs

When you have so many possibilities at the tips of your fingers, the choices are daunting. Cooking with fresh herbs from your container garden is such a joy, but can also be overwhelming when you do not know where to start. 

Whether you are working with the tried and true versatile herb, basil, or a more nuanced flavor like coriander, you are capable of creating a dish that is delicious and stress-free. Put your skills to the test by trying out something new, and keeping your cool while doing it.

Today, we bring you 5 tips for cooking with fresh herbs from your garden – check it out!

Why Cook with Herbs?

To say it simply, herbs are just so good for you. They help recharge your mind, body, and soul in consuming them, as well as taking care of them while they grow. Growing herbs as a regular part of your cooking practice is a holistic addition that is so fulfilling.

It is also impossible to deny that sometimes recipes just get boring and bland. Cooking with fresh herbs provides an opportunity to liven things up without needing to stray far from home (or even far from the kitchen, if you have a countertop herb garden!). 

Herbs have a slew of health benefits. Take a look at this article, 7 Restorative Health Benefits of Herbs to learn more.

5 Tips for Cooking with Fresh Herbs

  1. Experiment with Bold Flavors: If you are growing a strong and robust herb, such as rosemary or thyme, in your garden, do not be afraid to experiment with it. Choosing a flavor pairing can be overwhelming, but once you decide on which herb you want to use, you can build the rest of your meal around it. For example, rosemary tastes delicious cooked with poultry and muddled in craft cocktails, while fresh basil can be enjoyed raw in a tossed salad. 
  2. Enjoy Herbs Cooked and Raw: The great thing about herbs is that they are oh so versatile – they are practically inviting you to try out something new every time you harvest them from your garden. Try fresh herbs in your morning smoothie, or cooked into your breakfast omelette. 
  3. Get a Sharp Knife: Using a dull knife on your herbs can cause them to bruise, which will ultimately speed up the process in which they lose flavor after being harvested. Chopping your herbs as finely as possible is also a great way to ensure that they hold onto their flavor; if you don’t have a sharp knife, sharpened kitchen scissors will do the trick, too!
  4. Herbs for Sweets: If you have a sweet tooth, consider adding some greenery into your next dessert creation. It adds a special pop of fresh flavor, and some health benefits to your treat. For example, peach ice cream with basil leaves … do we need to say anything more?
  5. Infuse your Herbs: If you are looking for a summer iced tea or a new way to enjoy olive oil, look no further than infusion. You can infuse your fresh herb harvest in order to enjoy it in a more concentrated way. Take a look at our article, 8 Ways to Use Your Homegrown Herbs to learn more about this process.  

If you are looking for more information regarding which herbs pair well with which flavor profiles, take a look at the bottom half of this article, Cooking with Fresh Herbs, by Urban Cultivator. 

Start Your Growth

If using your very own herb harvest sounds like a fun way to spice up your kitchen life, follow your inspiration and start your container garden today. Check out our available container garden kits that are tailored to your climate to get started. 

Sage Herb Garden Kit