When the air is warm we tend to crave lighter meals. That’s why cooking in the summer is a breeze — it’s all about easy eating. At this time of year, the best way to jazz up quick meals is to add a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Not only do they add a delicious pop of flavour, but also pair amazingly well with your go-to grilled dinners and side salads.
After bringing your herbs home from the market, make sure to store them properly to maximize their shelf life. Wrapping them in damp paper towel and placing them in a plastic bag in the fridge is the quickest method, but you can also set them in a shallow cup of water, covering them with plastic before refrigerating.
Kitchen note: Basil is sensitive to the cold, so you’re better off storing it in a glass of water on the counter or windowsill.
5 popular herbs, and how to use them
Basil complements a variety of dishes, from sweet dishes ( try it sprinkled over an open blueberry pie) to savoury dishes like grilled flank steak with tomatoes or use it in a fruity garden tomato and peach salad.
This refreshing herb is a must in summer’s favourite cocktail, the mojito. The leaves also add sweetness to dishes like this watermelon & cucumber salad and our Greek-inspired lamb burgers with feta and mint.
Originally published July 2014, updated September 2019.