Thanks to different kinds of spices and herbs, the meals get an amazing taste. Getting them isn’t usually a problem, they can be found in all supermarkets. However, you can easily grow them in the garden or even on the balcony or terrace.
Sage, thyme, oregano, basil, savory, and many others are well-known species with a wide range of use. Growing them is not difficult and for a little attention, they will provide you with tasty fresh leaves. However, there are many more herbs and spices, which aren’t so famous. Every year, new lesser-known species of herbs that are worth trying appear in recipes. While supermarkets usually don’t offer them, their cultivation is not difficult and it is usually possible to get seedlings or seeds in garden shops.
Spicing up Cucumbers
One of the underestimated herbs is, for example, the annual borage. It has beautiful blue flowers that are edible and serve to decorate dishes and salads. The young leaves and sprouts of this plant add an exquisite taste to healthy salads. For example, they can turn an ordinary cucumber salad into a special treat. Borage grows in a flower bed in sunny places, but you can also grow it in pots on balconies or terraces. However, these areas should also be sunlit and warm. Summer salads can also be improved with another lesser-known herb, which is nicknamed olive herb in Slovakia. It is an aromatic subshrub of Santolina. Its rich green leaves resemble olives. Besides salads, whole or finely chopped leaves are suitable for potatoes, fish, meat, and homemade pesto. The herb should be used fresh because the heat lessens its flavor. Another interesting herb, sweet scented marigold or Mexican tarragon, comes from exotic Mexico. It has beautiful yellow flowers that are used fresh or dried. They can season sauces, soups, and various types of salads. Additionally, growing this plant is quite simple, it can even bloom on a completely small sunny balcony throughout the summer.
Asian Cuisine Lovers
If you are an Asian cuisine enthusiast then your unconventional herbal collection should not lack shiso herb. This plant may resemble a nettle but it is a unique herb that is definitely worth a try. Originally from far Asia, you can use green or dark burgundy leaves in fresh, dried or processed fashion. They have a specific smell and taste. Fresh can be added to soups, salads, sauces, and countless Asian dishes. Shiso also tastes wonderfully with fish and other seafood, and is often part of crab meat dishes. Besides the attractive kitchen use, the shiso herb also has healing effects. Although it is annual, it will provide plenty of leaves during the season, whether growing in bed or a flowerpot in sunny spot.
Touch of France
If you like French cuisine, you should grow tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus). However, this strong and fast-growing plant has also recently become more widespread in our gardens. Less well-known, however, is the chervil herb, which is also suitable for seasoning French cuisine. Its fresh aroma can enrich soups, salads and meat dishes. You can also season cheeses, omelets and potatoes. Chervil is a tiny annual herb, which, even when grown in a flower pot in a semi-shaded place, will provide you with enough fresh leaves that smell like anise. Plenty of the herbs can also be sprinkled into summer refreshing cocktails. Try using lemon verbena leaves that has intense aroma.
Text: Daniel Košťál, photo: Pixabay