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Gardening and Cooking with Herbs

With winter’s parsley, fennel and cilantro still available, and summer’s basil, dill and mint starting to take off, spring in Austin is a perfect time to get into gardening and cooking with herbs!

Herbs are easy to grow and tend to be pest and disease resistant. They can be planted in small spaces or pots, making them a good fit for novice gardeners or folks with limited space, and they will thrive in any sunny spot with good drainage. Flowering perennials, like rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender, can also be found in landscape designs. Next time you’re at SFC, look for herbs all around you: in our courtyard, kitchen herb garden, teaching garden and upstairs balcony planters!

We love to teach people how to cook with herbs in The Happy Kitchen. Herbs are an inexpensive way to add variety and flavor to your meals, and when you know how to season your food with herbs and spices you won’t reach for the salt as much. Full of phytochemicals – the protective chemicals found in plants –herbs also have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, assisting digestion, regulating blood sugar and preventing or healing cell damage.

Ready to get hooked on herbs? Look no further than the versatile chimichurri sauce. It goes great with spring and summer’s lighter cooking styles, and works with everything from grilled chicken to corn on the cob.

Minted Chimichurri

by Rebecca Katz

  • 3/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh oregano or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until all the ingredients are well combined.