Spring has sprung in New Orleans! Not only is it the best time to plant flowers and shrubs and trees, but also herbs. In fact, now is the time to plant and use herbs in spring recipes before some of our favorite herbs expire with the hot weather.
Advantages of growing your own herbs? Besides tasty, fresh food, growing your own herbs allows you to grow your food responsibly and know exactly where its been and is also extremely cost effective. Herbs at TPG run about $3 for a 4″ transplant and we source our herbs locally. Considering the herbs that it will yield, one transplant can save you money and food waste compared to buying herbs at the store every single time a recipe calls for fresh herbs.
What are the best herbs to plant right now? Well, pretty much all of them if you start from transplants (much easier than trying to grow herbs from seed). Sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, mint, and chives are in the nurseries and will all grow through the summer with proper care. Parsley, cilantro, and dill are in the nurseries and are shorter lived but will last until the weather starts getting really hot.
All herbs love sun and need at least 6 hours of sunlight and regular water with good drainage. You can use them in anything from cocktail garnishes to sauces. The best thing about herbs is that you can pretty much swap them out in any recipe according to which herbs you prefer or have on hand.
Do I use the stems or toss them? This article tells us whether to pick the herbs or not.
Muddling mint in your mojitos or mint juleps is a classic way to use herbs. But what about adding a sprig of mint or basil to your lemonade or sparkling water? Or adding a sprig of rosemary or thyme to a shrub cocktail?
So maybe “toast” is just a fancy way of saying open faced sandwich but they sure are tasty and super easy to make! Right now avocados are pretty cheap at the grocery store and taste so great on toast with a little salt and pepper and fresh torn parsley or basil. Or maybe scramble some eggs on toast and top with torn thyme or dill? If you’re feeling fancy, salmon and dill are a perfect marriage of food toppings on toast. The best part is that no matter what you top your toast with, herbs are going to elevate it and are easy to use and swap out to taste. Below we share a quick recipe to quick pickle some radishes or shallots and pair with anything on toast or a salad.
- Quick Pickle Shallots (Combine in bowl 10 minutes prior to using – use up the day of)
- A few slices of a small shallot thinly sliced depending on how much you need (or substitute with radishes or red onion)
- 2 tbsp vinegar (white wine, apple cider, or red wine vinegar preferably)
Below is toast topped with a 9 minute boiled egg sliced, with dill and quick pickle shallots. Easy and delicious!
Salsa verde is this magic sauce that tastes just as good with steak as it does with scrambled eggs. Actually, correction, it makes anything taste even better! Liquid gold and easily can be made with any herb that you like or combine them. So delicious!
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped shallot (or red onion)
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp capers, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped (or sub parsley or mix them)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
First combine the shallot and lime juice in a bowl. You don’t have to but highly recommend that you let it sit and mingle together for at least 10 minutes. Then combine the rest of the ingredients with the shallot/lime mixture.
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We hope that we have inspired you to grow and take advantage of having fresh herbs on hand in the kitchen. Mixing and matching recipes with herbs is the fun part! As always, thanks for reading and hope to see you checking out some New Orleans spring herbs in our garden center!
You can visit our garden center at 9401 Airline Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70118 or visit us online at