If you frequent here often, then you already know I grew up in a region with an abundance of seafood. But what you probably don’t know (unless your psychic, or a really good guesser) is that I also grew up eating tomatoes almost as often as most people eat bread. In the summer months, my breakfast often consisted of thick slices of fresh tomatoes sprinkled with sugar. Nowadays, I don’t sprinkle my tomatoes with sugar, but I do eat them whole (like you would an apple) and I do like to smother them with olive oil and basil—fresh basil snipped from my herb garden.
Fresh herbs are, in my humble mermaid opinion, essential for cooking great seafood
Along with basil, I always plant rosemary, mint, cilantro, parsley, dill and chives. The mint I plant simply because I love the smell—and every now and then I try my hand at muddling the leaves for a mojito—but everything else I use on a regular basis. Truth be known, my herb garden is bigger than many people’s vegetable gardens. And this year … (wait for it …) THIS YEAR I’m doing something a little different. Rather than fight the spring season’s crowds at the garden shop, or, let’s be honest here … send my husband to fight the crowds … I’m panting all my herbs from seeds—non-GMO seeds harvested right here in the U.S., shipped to me overnight via Amazon, crafted by the one and only Sustainable Sprout. (And I’m kinda excited about it.)
I’m also going to give the heirloom vegetable packets a whirl—because just like fresh herbs are a key ingredient when cooking seafood, homegrown vegetables make a lovely side. Now if only the sun would show herself again, I’d be able to start sprouting my sustainable, organic, delicious garden, courtesy of the Sustainable Sprout herself ; )
Have you ever sprouted seeds indoors before planting in the garden?
Best Uses for Fresh Herbs with Seafood
Basil: Toss it into cioppino—or any seafood stew—and serve handfuls alongside tomatoes (duh), mixed with couscous, pine nuts and cucumber.
Cilantro: Top off tilapia with a spicy green salsa and tons of chopped cilantro.
Parsley: There’s nothing parsley can’t be added to. It makes salads taste fresher and it works well with any and every type of fish.
Dill: Most everyone knows dill makes superb salmon—not that salmon needs anything to be superb—but dill is also great when stirred into a cream sauce with clams and pasta. You can also lightly drizzle the sauce over scallops.
Chives: Use chives to add a light-onion flavor to baked cod or any poached fish. Also good when a few fresh snips are added to any grilled fish.
Oregano & Thyme: I grouped these together because where you can use one, you can use the other. Both are excellent when wrapped in parchment paper with snapper or bass and baked in the oven. Also good with steamed shellfish and any tomato-based sauce or broth like what you’d use for Manhattan clam chowder.
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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox