There are seven amazing herbs in an Italian herb garden that gives most Italian cuisine its rich, scrumptious flavors. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t cook Italian dishes at home. Don’t you agree that it’s more practical and convenient to grow these plants in your garden so you’ll always have a flavorful and fresh supply every time you need to cook tasty Italian meals?
Do you know that the most popular and the tastiest dishes come from Italy because they use herbs from their Italian herb garden? In fact, records in the culinary industry show that some of the best dishes in the world come from Italy.
Let’s go over the 7 essential herbs found in an Italian herb garden, and their uses and benefits:
1. Basil is one of the most commonly used herbs. It is said that its distinct flavor is the soul of Italian cuisine. It is also beneficial to your garden — If you plant Basil with tomatoes and peppers, it will help improve the flavor of these plants. Basil is also a known repellant to mosquitoes and flies. Grow it with thyme, as they make a perfect pair, growing together.
2. Parsley is known in the culinary industry as an excellent flavoring too. In ancient times, many people use Parsley as breath mints. Very nutritious, eating parsley raw also helps eradicate bad breath. This is why parsley is used as a wonderful garnish.
3. Oregano on the other hand is used as decorative and has a distinct flavor that can complement many meals. This herb delivers the best flavor when harvested as soon as its beautiful purple flowers start to bloom. It also has great medicinal properties, and is widely used as an effective anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, as a digestive aid, and for relieving pain and inflammation.
4. Fennel is another great Italian herb that is used in making Italian sausages. This perennial plant should be replanted and divided every two to three years, because it loses its flavor when it reaches maturity. Fennel leaves are used in soups, condiments and sauces, and its oil is used to flavor candy, liqueurs, medicine and fish. It is used to make soaps too!
5. Another perennial plant that is noted for its numerous culinary contributions is Rosemary. It is very sensitive to frost and is known to attract bees. It’s a kind of shrub herb plant with color blue flowers. Use it as a gorgeous ornamental plant or as a welcome culinary flavoring.
6. Garlic is one of the most popular herbs in any garden and is a basic ingredient in many Italian dishes. I’m sure of one thing – if you don’t grow garlic in your garden, it cannot be considered as an Italian garden! Garlic can thrive with very little attention. Once harvested, they can be pickled, frozen, or stored in the fridge for future use.
7. Sage is a popular herb that graces countless Italian recipes, ranging from meats to salads. If you want to grow sage, I suggest that you keep your plants well trimmed so that you can take advantage of the new shoots – the most delicious plant part. Harvest these plants after they have bloomed. Sage is also known for its health benefits – it is a great memory enhancer, has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a powerful antioxidant too!
There are other herbs that can serve as a nice addition to your Italian herb garden but starting off with these 7 essential herbs is a great idea since they are used in a wide variety of recipes.