Why you should have an Italian herb Garden at Home
These herbs provide a distinctive signature to any dish. Who has not tried spaghetti, and veal parmesan and other Italian dishes and really relished the taste?
What Italian Herbs should you grow at Home?
Basil is one of the many herbal jewels in the crown of Italian herb gardens. It comes in various subtle flavours and enhances Italian dishes. In addition to being a flavouring agent in cooking Basil is of great value in the garden.
Used as a companion plant to peppers and tomatoes it enhances their rich garden flavour. Basil is also said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Hang it in loose bunches outside your kitchen door, or keep pots of it by the back entry.
The next flavour of note comes from Parsley. Parsley is a more challenging herb to grow, but is well worth the effort it takes. It graces not only Italian fare but many other cuisines. Prior to the commercial trend of buying breath mints, gourmet diners discovered the power of parsley to sweeten the breath and remove the odor of spicy and flavourful foods.
That discovery is the origin of serving parsley as a garnish with a meal. Lovely Oregano at its maturity has pretty little purple flowers. The flowers are the sign that it is time to harvest Oregano, for when it flowers, the flavour has peaked.
Fennel is a plant that has a tuberous bulb that is edible, but it is better known for its seeds that flavour Italian sausages. There is no other sausage that tastes quite like them. If you are growing the fennel for its seeds and feathery foliage, be sure to keep the plant divided and replanted to foster the more intense flavour in this herb.
Like basil, rosemary is an Italian herb that is beneficial to the garden. It grows into a large shrub that spouts pretty little blue flowers. It helps the garden by attracting bees. Although it is a tough evergreen perennial, it is sensitive to frost.
Garlic is by far the most frequently used herb in Italian cuisines. An Italian herb garden needs to have at least a small plot of garlic. Garlic cloves can be planted in almost any type of soil, and still do well. It makes herb gardening an easy task. Harvest and store garlic cloves for use all winter.
Another perennial Italian herb is Sage. Said to impart wisdom. The most flavour is in contained in the new growth, so trim your sage and cut it back. Harvest Sage after it blooms.
Has reading about Italian herbs got your mouth watering? Do you know which herbs you would most likely use from an Italian herb garden? If you can provide the right growing conditions and are ready to do some herb gardening, consider planting some of these culinary herbs.
Remember they also beautify your landscape while lending their aromatic essence to the surrounding area. Their soft colours and fragrance filling the air are like a vacation to Italy.