Growing your own herbs is the best way to bump up the flavor profile of any grilled dish this summer. There really isn’t anything that tastes better in the summer time than grilled anything. Growing your own herbs for grilling takes a regular weeknight meal from ordinary to extraordinary.
Herbs are the most flavorful when they are picked fresh. Dried herbs don’t pack the flavor punch of fresh herbs from the garden. Oil and flavonoids in the plants add aroma and taste to the herbs. As soon as herbs are clipped from the plant those flavors and aromas begin to fade immediately. When you buy dried herbs or herbs from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, you can’t tell how long ago they were picked before making it to your grill. Growing the herbs in your garden, kitchen, or right beside your grill lets you snip, pick, pluck, and chops the herbs before any aroma or flavor is lost.
Using herbs to flavor your food imbues your meal with rich flavors and earthy freshness. It also allows you to reduce calories in your grilled food because you’re not using a heavy sauce or other store bought seasonings that often contain alot of sodium. There are two distinct ways to grill with fresh herbs.
Any herb can work with grilling but here are the best:
Each of these herbs have a variety to choose from. Experiment with the different herbs, or mix herbs to get different and amazing flavors.
Lemon and Herb Grilled Chicken Breast
Ingredients:2lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Marinade:1/4 cup lemon juice1 tablespoon lemon zest1/4 cup olive oil1/4 cup Dijon mustard1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (we used a combo of rosemary, thyme and parsley)1 tbsp minced fresh garlic1 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepper
Instructions:1. Place the chicken in a gallon zipper bag. 2. In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all marinade ingredients until combined. 3. Pour marinade into the bag. Seal and gently toss to coat chicken. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.4. With your grill on medium heat, grill chicken on each side until golden, crispy, and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 5. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Grilled Pork Rib Chops with Fresh Herb Rub
Ingredients:1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary2 tsp coarse salt2 tsp coarsley ground black pepper4 bone-in pork rib chops, 3/4-1″ thickInstructions:In a small food processor, combine garlic, fennel seeds, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pulse several times to blend. Lightly coat each chop with herb rub.On a medium high grill, sear the chops for 1-1/2 minutes per side then move to a less hot area of the grate. Cover and cook until the chops are firm and have reached an internal temp of at 145-150 degree Fahrenheit.
For more recipes and insights from Ashcombe, visit our blog Gardening Guides.