I have grown all of the herbs listed in this article, it’s easy to do provided you give the plants what they require. I purchase most of my seeds from Johnny’s Select Seeds, I find them easy to grow and they make excellent additions to salads and many dishes. Mints and Lavender are best when purchased as plants. This article (below) is from the March 2011, Johnny’s Seeds newsletter, part of a series of articles on small farms and those who have large gardens who are turning to selling to their local restaurants and chefs. As this welcomed trend continues I think we can expect more super fresh foods and seasonings to grace the plates of our favorite local dining establishments.
Offer Up-and-Coming Culinary Herbs to Local Restaurants and Chefs
As consumers develop more adventurous palates, they are more likely to try new culinary herbs as well as new vegetables. The basic herbs, which continue to be popular, are basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Here are some of the lesser-known herbs that are gaining new fans among chefs and home cooks.
- Thai and citrus basils are important ingredients in Asian food. Purple basils are a gorgeous garnish. Several basil varieties are great in micromix, harvested at the two-leaf stage; we recommend Italian Large Leaf, Cinnamon, Thai Magic, Dark Opal, and Red Rubin.
- Chervil is an important component of fines herbes, the French combination of delicate herbs used to flavor many Mediterranean dishes. The other ingredients in fines herbes are parsley, chives, and tarragon.
- Cutting celery has the flavor of celery but is much easier to grow. Both leaves and stalks can be used in place of celery. If you want to convince chefs to buy your cutting celery, direct them to the Environmental Working Group’s list of The Dirty Dozen, conventional produce most often contaminated by pesticides. Conventional celery is at the top of the list.
- Lovage leaves also can be used as a celery replacement.
- Dill is new again, thanks to increasing interest in pickle making.
- Lavender is showing up in all kinds of recipes, from roast chicken to shortbread cookies.
- Mints are popular in many cuisines, and trendy in cocktails.
- Salad burnet tastes like cucumber and can be used as a salad ingredient or chopped for cooking. Leaves have to be harvested young, as they tend toward bitterness when mature.
See the wonderful listing of herb seeds Johnny’s has available.
Selling Your Produce Directly to Restaurants and Chefs
Selling Produce to Restaurants: Grow Mini-Head LettuceTransparency & Appreciation: I want all of my readers to know that I do provide links on this blog to other businesses that sell products that I use and love, I will never post a link to anything that is inconsistent with my ideology.
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