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Culinary herbs are a great way to step up your game in the kitchen! Adding fresh flavors straight from the garden will bring so much dimension to your homemade dishes. Ditch the overpriced supermarket versions and grow your own container-based herb garden at home! Checkout our list of seven herbs you should be growing right now- straight from the BFFF Test Kitchen:

1. Rosemary –  It’s leaves have a lemony-pine flavor that works well with lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, and focaccia bread. This herb is pungent so be aware that a little goes a long way!

2. Thyme – Used frequently in European cuisine. What would a bouquet garnish be without it? Thyme pairs well with other herbs like sage, parsley, and rosemary, and compliments pork, beef, and roasted veggies. Instead of chopping this herb, you can slide your finger tips down its stringy stalk to release it’s small fragrant leaves.

3. Oregano –  Use in tomato sauces, vinaigrettes, with poultry or seafood when you want to take your dishes into a Greek or Italian direction. This herb is also an essential element in any good chimichurri sauce, and works surprisingly well with roasted potatoes.

4. Cilantro – Cilantro or coriander, whatever you want to call it, packs a fresh and distinctive burst of flavor that is used in dishes ranging from Mexican to Thai to Indian cooking. Since this is a delicate herb, you’ll only want to use it to finish your dishes or in an uncooked sauce.

5. Sage – It’s leaves have flavors reminiscent of eucalyptus, lemon, and mint. Sage is obviously pork’s best friend, but can also be used in stuffings, sausages, or browned in butter to accompany meats and pastas. Its also fun to deep fry sage leaves for a crispy garnish. Just like rosemary, sage is quite aromatic so make sure you don’t overwhelm your dishes with it.

6. Mint – One of the most pungent herbs around! Mint works well in tea, mojitos, and savory dishes alike. Mint adds freshness to a variety of dishes and works great with fresh peas, lamb and salads, such as traditional middle eastern Tabbouleh. Make sure to plant mint in its own container as it is rather invasive and will take over any space with its wild growing roots.

7. Curry – Not to be mistaken with Indian curry powder, which is a mix of a variety of spices that vary from region to region. Unlike curry powder, this herb has a milder flavor and much of its aroma is lost in cooking. Use it fresh in dishes and with ingredients like eggs, yogurt, cheeses and fish, or try flavoring your vinegar with a handful of it’s leaves. Besides it’s reminiscent Indian curry aroma, it also smells of maple syrup.

Growing tips:

1. Make sure your herbs have plenty of sunlight at least 6 hours a day.

2. If planting in containers, use potting soil and make sure they have good drainage.

3. Water according to the weather; the hotter it is outside the more water your herbs will require.

4.  If your herbs begin to flower, pinch off the buds to trick the plant into continual leaf growth. Once the flowers are removed, the plant will once again funnel energy back into the leaves making them much tastier!

Tips & Photography for Best Friends For Frosting straight from our BFFF Test Kitchen!

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