The very best herbs and spices are the ones you grow yourself. Many of them won’t grow very well in your region, if at all. But some you will want to grow to use fresh and to dry to use throughout the year.
Common Spices to Grow
One very common spice to always have on hand is coriander. This is the seed of the herb cilantro.
You’ll use cilantro often when cooking East Indian and Mexican foods, especially for homemade salsas and curries. When the plant looks like it might flower, harvest the leaves, dry them and store them in a jar to use in the off season.
But let some of your cilantro plants go to seed – this is coriander. Once the plant looks very dead, harvest the seeds and put them in a jar to use in pickling or grind them when adding it to soups, breads and curries. Dill is another herb to grow in a sunny spot in the yard.
Dill leaves are used on fish, when making pickles and other light meals. The seeds are also used in pickling, with lentils and root vegetable dishes. Harvest the same way you would cilantro, but dry dill leaves with the stems in bunches if you are going to use it whole for homemade pickles.
Fresh rosemary is used for so many things, from steamed facials to roasted potatoes and spaghetti sauce. Every home should have a rosemary plant. Rosemary will come back every year so take good care of it. Your plant will grow huge, keeping you well stocked all year around with its fresh scent and flavor. It is important to trim it severely and often throughout the growing season. Use it fresh and dry it to store in jars.
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