This summer, I was determined to grow a full fledged herb garden. In the past, I've grown herbs in pots on my deck and they did "okay", but I know they would have done much better if planted in the ground. The problem is that our house faces south which means that the front yard is best for the full sun needed for herbs. We have an area outside our front door which is shielded by hedges from passers by, and off to the side, I cleared a bed which measures about 30"x60". With kaleidoscope abelia shrubs as the background, I planted lavender on either end, Italian parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, and basil. I bordered it with a delicate ground cover and added a decorative, low fence, to keep our dear little Niskua cat away! (Just in case she decided to use the area as a litter box!) The first photo shows the bed when first planted. The next photo was taken today! The herbs have thrived in the ground as opposed to in pots. It's been such a delight to use my organic, home grown, fresh as can be, herbs, in my summer cooking.
I tried this marinade recipe which called for several of the herbs in my garden and used it for grilled chicken. It was absolutely delicious. Enjoy!
The Only Marinade You Will Ever Need
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 4 strips of lemon zest
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parley, basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, or a mix of all four
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine the lemon juice, hot pepper flakes, cracked pepper, and salt in a nonreactive (glass, ceramic, or stainless steel) bowl and whisk until the salt crystals are dissolved. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, parsley and basil and whisk until blended.
Marinade chicken or protein of choice for at least an hour. Cook on grill.