Friday, July 18, 2008

Herb Garden in the City

My herb garden upclose.

It is almost mid-summer and all my herbs have fully grown. With the exception of thyme or maybe sage, they will have run their natural course and wilt by the first frost of late fall or early winter. So I decided to frame them while they're at the peak of their growth. I didn't include the rosemary and lavender because, eventhough they are part of the garden, they are not part of that little corner called my 'herb garden'.

Here they are... drum roll please...

I planted them in my strawberry-pot a year ago and then I added some more herbs like savory and marjoram to make the pot look fuller. Thyme is good for seasoning blend for poultry, fish sauces and soups. It is often paired with tomatoes.

I think I have three varieties of tomatoes this year. Unfortunately, Cherry Red is the only one I remember. I love adding tomatoes in my salad, and is the main ingriedient in salsa. It is also great for making home made sauces for pasta dishes.

Sage has a fragrant aroma and a warm flavor.
I usually sprinkle a small amount of chopped sage in my focaccia bread dough just before baking. Sometimes I use this when grilling meats, poultry or fish. Use this sparringly as its flavor can overwhelm the foods' taste.

This is the first time I planted chamomille. I haven't experimented with the uses of this herb but I heard it is good for making teas. I am supposed to trim the flowers to encourage leaf growth but I decided to leave the flowers. They're pretty, I think.

I use Parsley mainly as a garnish. It has that sour, tangy flavor just like green mangoes. It mostly used in Greek salads.
Chopped parsley also enhances the flavor of garlic fries and herb pasta.

Cilantro is popular in Mexican and Asian dishes. Its pungent taste and smell spread quickly inside the kitchen you can almost always tell someone is chopping cilantro.
I use it for making salsa and for shrimp or chicken soup.

Mint is also popular in Asian dishes especially in Vietnamese cuisine. Personally, I think crushed mint leaves are perfect for making a cocktail called mojito.

Oregano is best used with vinegar for pickling onions, cucumbers, lettuce, etc. Mijo uses this for a Salvorian condiment called 'cortido' which is similar in taste as kimchi.

I have seen Chives used to tie crepes or to decorate wraps. Since I don't have savvy culinary skills, I basically use Chives as a garnish to dishes where onions and garlic are used.


(These photos were taken in my backyard I call Herbs in the City.)

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