Grow Your Own Garnish: 6 Delicious Herbs You Should Have on Your Windowsill

Whether you’re a gardening guru or a spice-and-herbs novice, growing your own herbs is both easy and rewarding. Here are the 6 essential shrubs you should have in your roster, for both ease of maintenance and delicious payoff.

Basil

Care: Keep this little plant in a warm place with 6 hours of daily sunlight, and make sure that its soil stays moist at all times.

Application: Basil makes for a bright and healthy bruschetta and is great on a fresh mozz pizza. During warmer months, try the slightly tart and citrusy Pomelo and Basil cocktail.

Rosemary

Care: Rosemary needs as much sun as basil—6 hours of direct light each day—but slightly less water. Replenish it when its soil is dry.

Application: The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour is calling our name with its sweet, savory, and sour elements, and is versatile enough to be made year-round. Crispy rosemary potatoes are a perfect complement to steak or fish entrees.

Mint

Care: Keep mint in a cool damp place with partial shade.

Application: If you have lots of mint on hand and an empty schedule, mint ice cream is an obvious use of your time. However, you might need to invest in an ice cream maker. For a quick cocktail, a refreshing mojito is a solid choice. If ice cream and cocktails don’t inspire you, then relax with a soothing cup of tea: Just boil some hot water and let it simmer over a few sprigs of mint.

Parsley

Care: Parsley needs its Vitamin D: 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day. Keep its soil moist.

Application: Parsley gets a bad rap as a mere garnish, but its versatility humbles the home cook. Try pesto with half parsley and half basil, chopped finely with a knife—no food processor needed. Add extra virgin olive oil, finely grated parmesan, and crushed pine nuts to taste. This makes a great sauce for linguine, or a spread for some crusty bread. For a twist on the traditional drink, try a Parsley Julep. You won’t regret it.

Sage

Care: Sage wants 6-8 hours of direct sun, and should never have soggy soil. Let it dry out before watering again.

Application: Sage can be used in everything from pork dishes to Thanksgiving stuffing. Try it in brown butter sage sauce, served with cavatelli. For a stiff sage cocktail, try this Tequila and Sage Smash recipe.

Cilantro

Care: Cilantro is more delicate than the other herbs here. It needs 4-6 hours of direct daily sunlight, and should be dry to the touch before rewatering.

Application: Cilantro rice is tasty in dishes like fish tacos or burrito bowls. On a summer day, try mixing together a cilantro cooler for a flavorful escape from the heat.

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