Herb Container - Italian Delight

Among the most popular and versatile herbs are those considered to be the “Italian” herbs. Used in most Italian recipes this group comprises what is perhaps the most well known herbs for cooking in general.

Parsley
It is usually recommended to use flat leaf Italian Parsley for cooking. The curly leaf variety is used for garnish or fresh in salads. It is a great mouth freshener as it masks the odor of garlic. Parsley is a biennial.

Basil
A fundamental seasoning ingredient in tomato sauces, soups, salads and pesto makes this the number one herb we think of in association with Italian cooking. Basil is highly perishable and should be used within a day or two of harvest. Basil is an annual.

Oregano
This herb is highly prized in southern Italy and is widely used to season pizza, sauces and vegetable dishes. Use fresh or dry, either is wonderful. Oregano is a perennial.

Sage
Often used in combination with rosemary to flavor roasts, or by itself to season specific cuts of veal, pork and liver. The leaves can be dipped in a light batter, fired in oil and served as an antipasto, which goes great with wine. Sage is a perennial.

Rosemary
A favorite of gardeners everywhere just for the aroma  it brings to the garden. It has become a mainstay in modern Italian cooking as a seasoning for roasts, potatoes, breads and vegetable dishes. Although very strong when first picked it mellows quite a bit in the cooking process. Rosemary is an annual, but may be grown inside as a houseplant.

Thyme
A powerful herb that should be used sparingly. It is great to season meats, stuffing, marinades and some seafood. Thyme is a perennial.

  • Grow your ‘Italian Delight’ garden in full sun.
  • Water as needed, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Fertilize early in the season with a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote or occasionally with a liquid fertilizer.
  • Pick herbs early in the morning on the day you plant to use them for the freshest flavor. Wash gently and store in the refrigerator until needed.
  • In the fall, remove the perennials from the pot and transplant into the garden.
 

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