Without herbs, our dinners would be dull. They bring dishes to life, and they allow us to put our stamp on a recipe – to make it our own.
Many people won’t hesitate to add a pinch of fresh rosemary, but there are plenty of other seasonings to get to know. Adding a few of these herbs to your kitchen cabinet can open a world of possibilities.
If you are not sure where to start, below are Renshia Manuel’s suggestions. Manuel is the founder of Growbox, a social entrepreneurship company that manufactures portable grow boxes made from recycled pallets for people living in disadvantaged areas to grow vegetables sustainably.
Chefs prefer flat-leaved parsley over curly since it has more flavour. Parsley does best in moist, well-drained soil and can grow in partially shaded areas.
Use: Can be used in marinades, as a garnish, or in soups and salads.
With an aggressive growth rate, mint is best in its own container, and above ground. It can handle shade, but it is better suited to strong sunlight.
Use: It can be added to smoothies, salads, and infused in teas.
This herb, not to be confused with marjoram, has small and flavourful leaves. It requires full sunshine and lots of drainage. Greek oregano is also a tender perennial that you will have to bring inside during the winter months. The leaves can be dried and stored to be used at a later stage.
Use: Can be used in bolognese, tomato, or chilli sauces.
This herb has heavily scented leaves and prefers less water. You do need to give thyme exposure to full sunlight and well-drained soil.
Use: Can be used as a seasoning over seafood dishes.
Relatively easy to grow, basil prefers sunny locations. It also does best in rich soil that is well-watered.
Use: Can be sprinkled fresh over the top of your pizza, added to tomato-based pasta sauces just before serving, or added to soups.
The resinous leaves of rosemary are highly aromatic. The herb requires cool climates with plenty of sun and moist (not wet) soil. It is also best to bring rosemary indoors for the winter.
Use: Can be infused in oils or as seasoning over meat, and fish dishes.