No true kitchen garden is complete without a great stock of fresh herbs. Not sure what to grow? These four must-grow annual herbs are easy to plant, easy to grow and fantastically easy to use.
4 Must-Have Annual Herbs
Dill adds an uncommonly bright flavor to salad greens. While the leaves can be dried, they really taste best fresh, and the seeds are easily dried and stored. (And they’re perfect for pickling!) The key when growing dill is to avoid planting it near fennel, as the two herbs will readily cross-pollinate. Not sure what to do with your dill? Add it to salads, dips and on top of fresh fish.
Need a reason to grow cilantro? Well, this hardy annual herb with a plethora of uses, cilantro is easily one of my most favorite herbs. A fantastic natural breath freshener and delicious freshly chopped and added to guacamole, pico de gallo and a host of other easy-to-make recipes, cilantro is North America’s best annual herb. If saving for later, be sure to dry thoroughly before storing in the fridge (as wet leaves have a tendency to rot).
There’s probably no annual herb as well known and grown as basil. Intensely aromatic and easy-breezy to grow, fresh basil is the mouth-watering herb that gives bruschetta, caprese and pesto their fantastic flavor. While there are lots of varieties to choose from, the most popular types of basil to grow are sweet basil (which is green), Thai basil (which is beautiful), and surprisingly lovely purple basil (which is milder).
An annual herb used as a perennial garnish, fresh parsley is an underrated green that is shockingly good for you. When choosing between curly-leaved and flat-leaved parsley, remember that the flat-leaved variety has a stronger flavor (and looks more than a little bit like cilantro).