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Grilling With Herbs!

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.

Why Grow Your Own Herbs?

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.

Flavoring With Herbs.

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.

  1. Finely chopped herbs can be sprinkled directly onto the coals that have ashed over and will release subtle aromatic flavors. If you’re using a gas grill instead of charcoal, you can get the same effect by using whole sprigs of herbs to create a bed on the grill’s grate. Place the meat or vegetables directly on the herbs to get the most flavor. Tip: to get even more flavor from the herbs, soak them briefly before using them in either charcoal or gas grilling
  2. Give your food time to absorb the flavors by using indirect heat. This will ensure your herbs won’t burn which could change the flavor.

Best Herbs for Grilling.

Any herb can work with grilling but here are the best:

  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

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

2lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Marinade:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (we used a combo of rosemary, thyme and parsley)
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

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

1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp coarsley ground black pepper
4 bone-in pork rib chops, 3/4-1″ thick

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.

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