Simple Ways to Enjoy Herbs Of Abundance


So, you have more herbs growing in your garden than you know what to do with right? We can dry, store, and save for our winter soups but fresh is best. This may be the number one reason why we love to garden – seasonally harvested foods just taste superior.

There are many ways to incorporate the vibrant flavors of herbs into our meals. Some take time though. This summer, I’ve been using herbs in a simple way. And that is the Sicilian way.

The core of Italian cooking emphasizes local or homegrown ingredients. This approach highlights the natural flavors of ingredients without overly complex preparation, allowing the quality of the produce to shine. The relaxed Sicilian style of cooking is a reflection of the island’s traditional approach to food, where the focus is on capturing the essence of the Mediterranean bounty.

Here are some simple ways to implement homegrown herbs into your daily meals:

Breakfast – Chop fresh herbs and mix into eggs for an omelet or top hard-boiled eggs. Use plenty of salt and pepper to bring out the rich flavor of parsley, chives and basil. Soften a bar of cream cheese or butter, then mix in minced herbs. Use the upgraded spread on a warm bagel – so good! Top avocado toast with a sprinkle of herbs like cilantro or tarragon for a fresh twist. Make an herb smoothie by blending in mint or basil with banana, apple and mango, oh my! Even easier – mix salt, mint and basil into a bowl of fruit salad.

Lunch and Dinner – Whip up an herb dressing in advance and use it on salads or proteins of all kinds. This is one of my favorite ways (infusion) to get the most flavor from garden-fresh herbs. Below is my go-to base for dressing. With this, add herbs from your garden. Different combinations will create very different flavor profiles!

Homemade Herb Dressing
Makes 3 cups

Ingredients: 2 large cloves of garlic minced, 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard, salt and pepper, 1 cup of  3 acids (white vinegar, red vinegar, lemon), 2 cups olive oil, herbs to taste.

Directions: Combine all ingredients and then slowly whisk in the 2 cups of oil.

For dinner, I recently made a simple pasta with butter, romano cheese, chopped parsley, basil, oregano, fresh black pepper and salt. It was delicious! Or try herb-marinated vegetables and fire up the grill. Make a quick Caprese salad with tomatoes, basil, and thyme from the garden. Cook up a grilled cheese sandwich layered with herbs for an indulgent meal.


Dessert: You can make homemade herb ice cream from scratch… or you can grab the Breyers  from the freezer and mix in mint and sage! For movie night, pop, popcorn and sprinkle with a dry mix of salted lavender. Buy cheesecake from the bakery and adorn it with complementary herbs like lemon thyme, basil, or lavender (great hack if you’re having company.) Mix minty herbs into whipped cream and top a brownie. Combine fresh herbs into any batter, homemade or store-bought, and make it your own.

With a bit of experimentation, you can create new, unique flavorings by simply adding fresh herbs to all of your meals.

tagged in garden, herbs