Sunday, 3 February 2013

Herb garden

I'm not much of a gardener. (Read: things I plant usually often die.) Except for weeds. I'm great at growing weeds. Basically, if it makes a noise (partner, cat, guests), it's pretty safe; I'm reminded to feed it. If it's silent (any type of plant), its chances of survival are marginal.

For Christmas, I was the recipient of several potted herbs. Although they were gifted with the best of intentions, I was immediately nervous for their future. Rosemary, thyme, chives, Italian parsley and golden marjoram ... all optimistically promised exotic meals in the future. Two are in terracotta pots, which I've been told to keep wet, and the others are in a planter hanging off our trellis. I had given similar gifts in the past to others who professed their desire to grow a herb garden only to have them find that it wasn't as easy as it sounded. Hmm.

I am pleased to report that it is now more than five weeks later and they are all still alive. Not only that, but my herbs are prospering and I have used almost all of them in my cooking. Except for the golden marjoram; I don't know where to begin with that one. Google hasn't been particularly helpful other than to say that it is not the same as oregano. Still, I'm watering it and keeping it alive in the hope that a) one day I'll work out how to use it and b) it will taste delicious.

@Anjuli_nz came up with some really good links with advice about cooking with herbs, including this herb directory and the WikiHow page for matching herbs with vegetables. Otherwise, the universal answer for almost any herb you can think of seems to be "with potatoes" or "add it to salads". The rosemary and thyme each worked really well with potatoes, lightly drizzled with canola oil and roasted. Homemade focaccia topped with fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley tastes amazing. However, I am most proud for thinking up chopping chives and bacon and mixing it with sour cream to fill baked potatoes cooked on the barbeque all by myself!

I still have no idea what to do with golden marjoram.

Are you blessed with a golden touch (or green thumb) for growing fresh herbs? What are your favourite fresh herb and food combinations?

1 comment:

Anjuli said...

He he I got a mention :) You can use Oregano and Marjoram on Pizza - not sure if Golden Marjoram would be good on Pizza or not though. My mum used to make a herby bread braid - fresh herbs (what ever was in the garden) and grated cheese kneaded into fresh bread, then the bread was plaited and baked - so good!