As warm weather arrives and you begin to clean out those beds and tend your soil, it’s time to consider what to plant in your garden this year.
An herb garden is an easy way to begin, even if you don’t have a lot of space. Pots or a small plot of soil is sufficient to create a working garden designed to compliment a variety of meals over the summer. Essential items in my opinion are basil, flat leaf (Italian) parsley and dill. A quick snip and you can spice up most any meal!
Basil: Basil flourishes in the Minnesota weather, and can take center stage or serve as a great accompaniment. Try a making a basil pesto and serve over pasta, grilled chicken and fresh seasonal veggies. Caprese salad, with tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It can also be enjoyed as a topping on your favorite vegetable, meat (try chicken or pork) or lettuce salad.
Italian Parsley: With parsley on hand you will never be caught short handed. Use it as a garnish to any dish or add it to your favorite veggie dip. Spice up your favorite jarred salsa – try mango – by mixing in a healthy dose of chopped parsley before serving. Flat leaf parsley also shines when served over a nice, grilled steak or on top of your favorite potato.
Dill: Your next summer salad dish can take on a whole new life with a tablespoon or two of chopped, fresh dill. Try it in a veggie pasta salad, chicken salad with grapes, or a basic tuna noodle salad for the family. Include fresh dill alongside grilled salmon, tuna or whitefish and you are sure to set the stage for summer.