The possibilities are endless when it comes to growing herbs for Italian recipes. Italy has long been famous for growing herbs with the Italian flair in mind. Some of the best cuisines in the world originate from Italy, which was first known by the herbs themselves.
One of the most popular herbs of course is Basil. Basil is known not just for it’s culinary feature, but for its ability to repel flies and mosquitoes in a home herb garden. It is also used along side peppers and tomatoes to improve flavor within the two.
Parsley is another popular Italian herb. Even thou it is a relatively hard herb to grow, it is useful not only in Italian dishes but used in a variety of other cuisines today. Along time ago, before breath mints, it was found that eating a snip of fresh raw parsley after a meal eliminated bad breath from other Italian herbs such as garlic or onions. A tradition arose since then to include Parsley along side every meal, as a garnish for its beauty and as a breath mint. The tradition lives on today.
Another Italian ancestor is Oregano. It is decorative as well as flavorful. Who ever thought of spaghetti sauce without Oregano? This herb should not be harvested until just after it produces flowers. That is when the herb is most flavorful.
Fennel, on the other hand, is famous for its herbs seed to flavor Italian sausage. Fennel looses its flavor as it matures. It is a perennial plant that needs to be divided every couple of years to maintain its seeds flavor.
Sage is another popular Italian herb. It is used in a variety of Italian dishes and very popular in salads. New shoots of the herb contain the most flavor so it is best to keep the herb “trim”. Sage can be harvested right after it blooms.
Rosemary is similar to basil. The herbs benefits are mostly in growing garden herbs, although it has been known to flavor a few baked chicken breasts quite well. This herb grows into a large shrub, which sprouts pretty blue flowers. It mostly helps by attracting bees to a home herb garden to pollinate the rest of the herbs flowers. It is sensitive to frost even though it is a tough evergreen perennial. Rosemary is also known for it’s subtle fragrance.
And now on to Garlic, the most popular and most used herb, if you can call it that, of all. No Italian herb garden should be without Garlic. The cloves can be replanted to continue the cycle each year. They are hearty and thrive in just about any home herb garden with very little attention. Garlic can be stored for later use by the freezing method or they can be “pickled” so they can be stored in the refrigerator. Don’t forget the medicinal purpose of lowering cholesterol.
I hope by now you can see an herbs benefits. It is important that you research each and every herb you are interested in before you start an herb garden. Think about each herbs needs and growing conditions so that you are able to provide for them…otherwise you will become discourage and give the project up completely…We don’t want that to happen. There are amazing benefits to herbs that are not even discussed here. From landscaping design to adding color and aroma just to name a few.
If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course to the right of the screen. Better yet, grab a copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening Here!
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Kali S Winters
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