What to do with all those herbs!

From my tiny little 4” plants I have a plethora of herbs. I just started by growing 3 kinds this year, but they have really taken off – I guess regular water is a good thing! I try to use them all on a regular basis, but I think I have to start really using them. I figured I’m not the only one who finds themselves in this predicament so I thought I’d share a few ways to use your herbs!

This year I am container gardening - here's my herb pot!  Next year I'm hoping for a raised bed!

This year I am container gardening – here’s my herb pot! Next year I’m hoping for a raised bed!

My basil has really taken off. I bought an Italian variety just from my local Trader Joes during a shopping trip. The moment you touch it, you smell it and its heavenly. I’ve been pinching back the flowers to keep producing more leaves, and cutting it down to use it for cooking and like any basil plant it keeps producing more and more. This week I have decided I need to do something major with it, because let’s face it, then I’ll get even more!

Basil up close and personal.  This will make great pesto!

Basil up close and personal. This will make great pesto!

I found this great recipe for pesto so that’s definitely on my weekend to do list – I’m sure I have enough! I got to thinking about pesto because I was recently at an engagement party that had some great appetizers, including turkey sliders topped with tomatoes, cucumbers and pesto. I found out all those things were made with veggies and herbs from their amazing garden. As the host put it, you got it you use it! I even left with a cucumber and zucchini, so I guess my personal freak out of what to do with my little herbs is not alone, even serious vegetable gardeners find they have such large crops they have to share. Makes me so excited to do more! My cousin started her own vegetable garden this year and has been producing like crazy! She also had a great tip for the plethora of basil you produce. Chop some garlic and basil and place portions in an ice cube tray, then add olive oil and freeze for future use. How easy is that to have on hand for cooking!

My other garden herb that has taken off is my mint. It does have a reputation for doing so. But I have a BBQ to go to and it’s supposed to be warm so I think it’s time for some infused water!! I’m thinking cucumber – lime – mint or Strawberry – orange – mint. Sounds refreshing, huh! I have some cucumbers left over from the farmers market so that may win out. Also, mint could be added chopped up and placed in your ice cube tray with water to help chill some infused drinks. Just another little tip from my wonderful cousin.

Now I said I started growing 3 herbs this year. I can’t seem to produce enough of my 3rd, cilantro, because we keep making tacos – fish, chicken, bean – we just can’t get enough! I guess having excess of 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, we love cooking mexican food I guess! It is really nice always having a little cilantro on hand.

mmm, tacos are one of our favs!

mmm, tacos are one of our favs!

Stay cool this weekend. And remember if you simply can’t eat or use all your own crops share your bounty from your garden with friends and family – I’m sure they will always appreciate it – I know I do!