Fresh Herbs from the Garden

--we grow a wide variety of fresh herb for culinary use--

Fresh Herbs from the Garden  

Herbs add interesting flourishes to cusine and cooking.   To a large extent they define many regional and international cusines.  As we’ve all become more familiar with different styles of cooking, we have come to appreciate the infinite combinations of spices and herbs. Here’s a little run-down on herbs we grow at Kretschmann Farm, pictures, and ways to use them:

Basil   We call this the queen of the herbs.  It’s the most delicate—even handling it roughly can damage.  It never stores well.  Refrigeration is normally too cold.  Best temp is 50 deg. Doesn’t dry well and loses most of its potency.  Can be used in many Mediterranean dishes especially Italian.  Pesto is the signature basil dish—a literal one herb show. 

Cilantro   Very common in Hispanic and South Asian cooking.  It’s that mysterious flavor behind many of those Mexican favorites—salsas, enchiladas, etc. It also is best used fresh and loses a lot of flavor drying.

Dill   A familiar flavor which most would associate with dill pickles.  These are easy and delicious to make with fresh dill.  It dries poorly but the seed has much the same flavor.  We’ve also discovered it’s use as a pesto.

Oregano   Familiar to many because of the flavor it adds various Italian tomato dishes.  It dries easily and can be simply processed for year-long use. 

Parsley   Best used fresh but can also be dried.  It make a unique salad chock full of vitamin C.  Chop and mix into many dishes, from meatballs to moussaka. 

Sage   Versatile  herb which is easily dried and retains much flavor no matter.  We’ve often just picked up fallen leaves or dead leave in the winter which are full of herbal aroma.  It’s one of the key poultry herbs, along with thyme and rosemary

Rosemary   Much like sage, it dries and stores easily.  It’s also great on flatbreads  (foccacias) and poultry. 

Thai Basil   Hard to describe the favor.  It’s used in many Indian and Southeast Asian dishes along with chiles and coconut. 

Thyme   Very fine leaves with almost lemony flavor.  Used for maranades and poultry rubs.  Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme can all be dried simply by placing on a paper plate where air can circulate.  We like the top of the refrigerator.  One can take a stem or two as needed.  They can be blended as you like and powdered in a small coffee grinder.  (rinse it before and after!)

Here's a few recipes you might enjoy using herbs.