Combine the best flavors of summer by firing up the barbecue and grilling up some delicious dishes spiced with a blend of your favorite garden herbs! The smoky barbecue flavor combined with the fresh, aromatic quality of fresh herbs will result in a decadent feast that’s sure to stimulate the senses. Here are seven of the best homegrown herbs for summer grilling, plus some suggestions on some dishes to try this summer!
Rosemary is by far the most useful and versatile herb for grilling. Its thick, woody leaves can be chopped up and added to so many different marinades and glazes, infusing that nostalgic, comforting aroma that takes us back to Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house.
This classic grilling herb can be used to season meat and veggie skewers, barbecued steaks, yam fries, and buttery baby potatoes wrapped in tin foil and roasted on the grill. It also pairs beautifully with a blend of thyme and parsley as a seasoning rub for succulent grilled chicken. If you like making your own burger patties, mixing in some rosemary will add a fancy touch to this backyard cookout mainstay. Add a generous squeeze of lemon to make the rosemary flavors pop!
No Mediterranean dish is truly complete without a pinch of oregano! This herbaceous wonder is absolutely packed with antioxidants and nutrients, and it has medicinal properties that help us to fight off colds and flu. It’s safe to say this garden spice is a lot tastier than your typical cough medicine!
To make tasty and healthy Greek-style skewers, make an oil-based marinade with oregano, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper, and a tiny pinch of cinnamon. Skewer some chopped chicken, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and onions, coat them with your marinade, and pop them on the grill. Save some marinade to coat and grill some new potatoes to serve on the side!
If you love Mexican food, you’re probably a fan of this zesty herb. Its distinctive herbal flavor is a perfect complement to the hearty, spicy ingredients in tacos, burritos, and other south-of-the-border fare. To replicate that Mexican taqueria taste, whip up a simple marinade with oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, chili powder, Mexican oregano, and lots of chopped cilantro. Marinate some skirt steaks for a few hours, throw them on the grill, and then slice them up into thin pieces for some steak fajitas! For grilled fajita chicken, make that same marinade, but add in a drizzle of honey for a sticky, sweet quality that caramelizes perfectly over the barbecue flames.
We love the trailing, spilling growth habit of this gorgeous flowering herb—and on top of being beautiful to look at, it sure is tasty! It’s great on grilled fish, especially salmon, and it makes veggie burgers so tempting, even a die-hard carnivore will enjoy them. It has a pretty similar flavor profile to rosemary, and pairs well with a spritz of citrus.
Pretty much any grilled vegetable is complemented by a sprinkle of thyme, but it’s especially good with root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. For some side dishes that will really impress your dinner guests, pick up some different colored carrots and baby potatoes, and grill them up with a buttery lemon thyme glaze.
An ultra-popular herb used in cuisines across the world, basil is one of those herbs that you’ll never grow tired of using. While most people recognize it from savory Italian or Thai dishes, basil also pairs surprisingly well with sweets! To make a sweet and savory glaze for grilled pork, mince some fresh basil with garlic, lemon, oil, balsamic vinegar, and some fresh blueberries from the garden. The sugar from the blueberries will caramelize and add that sticky, blackened char coating to the surface, while the meat inside stays juicy and tender.
Basil is a match made in heaven with tomatoes. For a simple side dish, slice some beefsteak tomatoes in half, and with the cut side facing up, sprinkle on some salt and minced basil, layer on a slice of mozzarella or parmesan cheese, top it off with a little more basil, and throw them on the grill until the cheese has melted and turned a mouthwatering golden brown.
Parsley has gained a bit of a reputation for being bland, but we couldn’t disagree more! Its earthy, fresh taste is just subtle enough not to overpower a dish, and it complements so many other spice blends without taking over. To level up your grilling game, use your fresh parsley (plus oregano if you have it!) to make some Argentinian chimichurri sauce for all your grilled meats.
You can take your barbecues steaks to the next level by coating them with chimichurri, either before or after grilling. To make the sauce, all you need is parsley, oregano, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and some red wine vinegar. Just pulse it up in the food processor until it’s smooth, and you’re good to go!
This easy-to-grow herb, which is a member of the onion family, can be used in any grilled dish that goes well with onions! Your options are endless. You can easily add it into marinades, or you can simply place a bowl full of minced chives on the table for people to sprinkle it fresh onto their grilled meats, veggies, and potatoes. Mix some into some salted butter with a little bit of garlic, and you’ve got a perfect topping for grilled corn on the cob.
We still have plenty of herb seeds available to take home this summer, so swing by Alsip Home & Nursery, or check out our online store to see what’s available. We also carry many different grills, barbecues, and smokers, so if you’re a first-time buyer, we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect model for your budget! Curbside pickup and citywide delivery are still available, so feel free to call us at the store if you’d like to make special arrangements.