How to Spice Things Up on the Grill with a Herb Garden
Barbeque and the summer go together like a pirate and a wooden leg, inseparable. I’m excited to fire up the grill and voyage into the warmer weather, what about you, West Coast Gardeners? We wait a long time for our wet winters to end and we need to make every barbeque count. A handy-dandy herb garden to spice things up on the grill could add some flavour to your summer evenings!
Barbeque is a great word. On one hand it can be a verb, “I’m going to barbeque tonight.” But it can also be an event, “I’m going to barbeque for the barbeque tonight.” However, it’s a noun as well, “I’m going to barbeque, on the barbeque, for the barbeque tonight.” And if that that doesn’t confuse you enough, it’s also a food group, “I’m going to barbeque the best barbeque, on the barbeque, for the barbeque tonight.” You’ve got that, right? Perfect.
Fed men tell no tales…
Originally barbeque came from the Caribbean, then made it’s way through Spain and the rest of the world. Sailors and pirates are to thank for our delicious fire grilled recipes this summer. So jump aboard, matey, as we delve into the best way to make your barbeques as unforgettable as a sail through the seven seas. (A pirate’s life for me!)
Ahoy Matey, it’s your good friend the gardener
Gardeners already have the advantage, when it comes to barbeque. Rather than searching out fresh vegetables in the produce department, much of their treasured bounty comes straight from the garden (X marks the spot in your own yard). Not only is it more fresh, but you’re also saving your gold for a rainy day. Corn in the store can be as much as a buck-an-ear, unless it’s on sail. (Sorry, bad puns.) Pop those garden tomatoes and squash straight on the grill for mouth-watering flavour.
Herbs and the barbeque make great mates and are easy to use together. But when it comes time to add the flavour, you don’t want to have to wade in among the roses and rhododendrons to collect herbs. Why not keep them a little closer at hand? (All hands on deck!)
It’s easy to create your own herb container garden for your patio, right there next to your barbeque. You can choose the size (from a casual small pot, to a heave-ho banquet sized container) depending on how often you break out the grill and the size of your crew. Watch this quick video we made and see how to easily create a barbeque herb planter in just a few minutes. You can choose your own herbs of course, but this may spark your creative juices.
Shiver Me Timbers – It’s a Herb Garden!
Once you’ve gathered your herbs and have them carefully anchored in your container, make sure it doesn’t get direct sunlight all day. A few hours of shade will do wonders for Basil or other more delicate herbs, and prevent sunburn. Don’t go overboard when selecting plants, make sure you left enough room for them to expand and grow. Leaving a couple inches around your bushier herbs will encourage them to spread out and mean more booty for your BBQ.
Herbs grow fast, so don’t be afraid to pillage and plunder your delicious herb container garden when it’s meal time. Cutting your chives down to their roots will encourage them to regrow in just a few days time and other herbs are similar.
Batten down the hatches…it’s time to fire up the grill!
Below I’ve given you a few of my favourite herbs, along with recipe ideas to get you started. Click on the links to see the recipes individually, or see the whole barbeque recipe pinboard on pinterest over here.
C H I V E S – Great paired with chicken and beef – They are part of the onion family with a delicious sharp flavor. Cut up the stems finely and use them during grilling and also as a tasty garnish.
O R E G A N O – Delicious with chicken, lamb, pork, beef & fish – Especially famous for making tomatoes taste amazing! Cut up finely and use during grilling.
P A R S L E Y – Add to chicken or fish – Fresh parsley in your grilling tastes a million times better than the dried variety. Mildly peppery, add during the cooking process.
R O S E M A R Y – Perfect for chicken, lamb, pork, beef, potatoes & tomatoes – A mediterranean savoury herb whose taste and smell increases when cooked. (Soak the stems and then use them as a taste-infusing kebab for meat and vegetables).
T H Y M E – Use on chicken, lamb, pork & beef – Peel off the fine leaves from the branch. Great when paired with lemon.
B A S I L – Pair with lamb, pork & beef – Cut up finely and use in sauces or with an oil marinade.
L E M O N V E R B E N A – Cook with pork or fish – A delicious way to infuse lemon without using lemon juice or having it turn bitter. Much more fragrant and flavourful than the fruit in grilling.