It’s no surprise this herb is a summertime staple—with a warm and spicy flavor, basil is an ideal pairing for sweet or mild recipes. Italians celebrated the herb alongside fresh mozzarella and tomatoes to create a refreshing Caprese salads or summery pizza toppings. Basil is also the basis for your homemade pesto. Add to a food processor with pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil to create this zesty spread, and set it out alongside some fresh bread when entertaining guests
The Best Herbs of Summer and How to Use them Nothing says summer quite like an afternoon in the garden. Connecting with nature, whether it’s through touch, sight, or smell, can be a comforting and mindful activity to help heal an anxious mind. Growing your own herbs is a simple way to add flavor to your kitchen. Fresh herbs can be grown in a variety of locations, whether you live in modest cottage or a NYC apartment. Rather than trek out to the grocery store, you can simply reach your hands out the window and pluck off some of nature’s most delicious ingredients. Here you’ll find some of our favorite summer herbs, and how you can implement them into your daily routine. Add them to your home and feel the good vibes flourish.
As for sweet things, basil and strawberries are a match made in heaven. Combine the two to make flavored water perfect for your hot Vinyasa classes. If you’re really feeling adventurous, basil and strawberry ice cream is a wonderful summertime dessert, especially following those backyard BBQ dinners.
Bay is a staple in Mediterranean and French kitchens, and can add a luxurious depth to summer soups, stews, or crab and shrimp boils. You can also soak them in water and thread them through pieces of meat for herbal and flavorful kebabs. The leaves best thrive in warm climates, such as a sunny deck or windowsill. Come the cooler months, consider bringing your bay plant inside so that it can continue to thrive. The leaves are sharp, so be sure to remove the leaves before serving. (But don’t worry about any added stress, as most recipes only call for one or two leaves).
Despite their versatility, Chives rarely get the attention they deserve. Their mild onion flavor makes them a great option for dozens of your summertime faves, including sandwich spreads, sauces, and cheese-based dishes. They also add that “something special” to a mashed potato recipe and can help heighten the flavor of creamy dips and egg salads. For all you vegans out there, try chives with a cashew-based cream cheese atop your favorite morning bagel.
The heat-loving cousin of cilantro, culantro rarely gets the glory. This spicy, flavor-packed herb is indigenous to Tropical America and the South Indies, and ideal for the summer months when cilantro starts to bolt. Don’t let its mystery deter you, though. This bad boy is rich in vitamins A, B-complex, and C, as well as the calcium, carotene, iron, and riboflavin.
A unique herb that loves the summer sun, dill has a similar pungent and aromatic flavor to that of caraway. The bright flavor pairs well with fatty-dishes, such as a butter sauce for a fish or in a cream-based dip. It’s perfect or those fierce summer days when you need to add a refreshing element to a more indulgent dinner. Dill can also be used for medicinal purposes, including a stomach-soothing tea to treat gas or digestive issues. Mash two teaspoons per cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes and enjoy when you’re feeling tummy troubles.
We recommend adding culantro to Mexican and Spanish dishes or chutneys, salsas, stews, and marinades. For a backyard taco party, sauté culantro with meat or veggies and add to corn tortillas. (A margarita might help cut the spice.) Note that culantro’s flavor is a bit stronger than cilantro, so you’ll often need to add less, and might want to taste as you go.
Mint comes in many varietals, but when it comes to your kitchen staple, spearmint is a top-notch option. The diverse herb can be used in everything from tabbouleh to fruit salads. You can also boil spearmint with sugar to create a refreshing simple syrup, ideal for sweetening your iced teas or mojitos. Spearmint is also a wonderful way to add flavor to water. If you have trouble getting your eight cups of H20, pluck off a few seeds of your spearmint plant and add to cold water. Keep in the fridge for a cool and refreshing pick-me-up when you’re feeling that summertime dehydration.