10 spicy plants to grow if you like to cook
All gardeners seek to get fresh, environmentally friendly and fragrant vegetables from the garden. Relatives and friends are happy to take home-cooked meals from their potatoes, tomatoes and salads. But there is a way to demonstrate your culinary skills with even greater effect. To do this, you should try to grow some unpretentious fragrant plants that will give your dishes new tastes and aromas. What greens in the garden can be considered the best from the point of view of the cook, we will tell in this article.
1. Rungia of Kloss
Rungia of Kloss (Rungia klossii) - perennial, bushy, thermophilic, herbaceous plant up to 70 cm high. Other names: mushroom grass, shombay. The leaves are dense, deep green, up to 8 cm in length. The flowers are blue-violet. Long flowering, begins in late summer. The number of ripened seeds is very small. Rungia has a powerful creeping rhizome.
Propagation Method: cuttings, sowing seeds, division of rhizomes.
Rungia is an unpretentious plant, but its leaves will be more fragrant if the plant receives maximum sun. The soil is needed moderately moist, high in humus and mulched. Distances between plants - 50 cm.
Rungia is very suitable for container growing.
The use of russia Kloss in cooking
Fresh leaves and young shoots have a pronounced taste and smell of champignons. Mushroom grass is used to make soups, salads, mashed potatoes, pies, herbal butter, omelettes, and vegetable casseroles. She is put in sandwiches and pizza, with her fried potatoes.
Rungia grown in sunny areas retains mushroom aroma even after drying.
2. Marjoram garden
Marjoram (Origanum maijorana L.) - perennial, herbaceous, thermophilic plant up to 60 cm high. Other name: sausage grass. Spicy aromatic and medicinal plant. The leaves are small, petiolate, completely pubescent. Fragrant, small, whitish-pink flowers are collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. Flowering begins in late June and lasts until the cold snap. Seeds begin to ripen in late August.
Propagation Method: sowing seeds, cuttings, dividing the bush.
To get a good harvest, marjoram is assigned the sunniest and most sheltered place with fertile, calcareous soil.
The most popular varieties of marjoram: “Gourmet”, "Baikal", Scandi.
Using marjoram in cooking
Both dry and fresh leaves are used, as well as flower buds in the preparation of soups, marinades, sauces, salads, minced meat, meat and fish dishes - wherever I would like to add a sharp and slightly tart flavor.
Vinegar and vegetable oils insist on marjoram, it is also added to herbal teas. Dried marjoram goes well with sage, tarragon, fennel, lemon peel, depending on the recipe, the desired combination is selected and rubbed with salt. From the stems with marjoram buds in combination with ginger and lemon zest, tinctures are prepared.
3. Violet tricolor
Violet tricolor (Viola tricolor) - grassy, perennial (cultivated as a biennial), undersized compact plant. The oldest gardening culture. Other names: pansies, Wittrock violet, viola.
Dark green leaves are collected in a basal rosette. Corolla consists of five petals. Petals contain essential oil. The fruits begin to ripen in June. Seeds remain viable for no more than two years. The root system is fibrous, located in the upper soil layer (15 cm).
Propagation Method: seeds, dividing bushes, cuttings.
Pansies love well-lit, moderately moist, wind-protected areas. The soil (pH 6.0-8.0) is prepared from garden soil, humus, sand, peat (2: 2: 1: 2). They are planted at a distance of 30 cm. The soil is mulched with peat.
Using pansies in cooking
Only flowers are suitable for cooking or decorating dishes. They are used for the preparation and decoration of snacks, salads, puddings, herbal butter and cottage cheese, ice cream, desserts. They usually collect small flowers and use them whole, and large chop.
Sugar syrup is prepared from the petals (it is important to remove all the green parts of the flower). They are saturated with biscuits, decorate desserts and ice cream, add to drinks. Vinegar and vegetable oils acquire saturated colors and are enriched with useful substances, if pansies of dark shades are insisted on them.
4. Garden rhubarb
Rhubarb garden (Rheum rhaponticum) Is a perennial, powerful, herbaceous, rhizome plant. Other names: revandi, ravand, revoch, ushgun. The leaves are bright green on long petioles (up to 70 cm), form a basal rosette. Stem leaves without stalks or have shortened stalks. Peduncles (up to 200 cm) appear in the second year. Rhubarb buds used to be considered a delicacy. Rhubarb has a well-developed powerful root system and a thick rhizome.
Propagation Method: division of rhizomes and sowing seeds.
Rhubarb is a very unpretentious cold-resistant plant. It grows well and gives a rich harvest of petioles on moist soils with a high humus content. To obtain especially tender petioles in early spring, a rhubarb bush is covered with a large flower pot without a bottom - leaves will reach this hole, and the petioles in the meantime “mature” faster.
The most popular varieties of garden rhubarb: Moscow 42, "Gigantic", "Stubborn", Ogre, "Victoria".
The use of rhubarb in cooking
Rhubarb petioles are used for making soups, cabbage soup, salads, sauces, side dishes. They are pickled, salted with hot pepper and garlic. Rhubarb goes very well with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon or orange zest, strawberries and honey.
For sweet cakes, you can prepare the filling by cranking oranges with stalks through a meat grinder. And petioles, boiled in sugar syrup with strawberries and whipped with a blender, will be an excellent impregnation for biscuit cakes. Particularly successful pastries are puff pastry stuffed with rhubarb and raisins or rhubarb and poppy seeds.
The Latin name is based on the Celtic word "Borrach", it means perseverance, courage. Popular names: cucumber grass, borage, borago.
Borageum officinalis (Borago officinale L.) has large flowers, before pollination it is always pink, after pollination they acquire a blue-blue color of different shades. Flowering occurs approximately 25-30 days after sowing, and lasts from May to the first frost.
Seeds begin to ripen in July and quickly crumble (germination persists for 3–5 years). The “distributors” of seeds are most often ants, so new plants can appear within a radius of 100 m from the garden.
The leaves are wrinkled, densely pubescent with hard hairs. Lower leaves petiolate, upper sessile. The root system is weak and fragile.
Propagation Method: seminal.
Sow it at the end of April immediately to a permanent place in the garden, winter sowing is also possible. Seeds close up to a depth of 3-4 cm, after about 10 days shoots will appear. Ten plants are left per square meter.
Borage - unpretentious and cold-resistant plants, they grow well on infertile, calcareous soil, in open sunny areas. On fertile soils, they quickly grow, the leaves become stiff, not suitable for eating.
The most popular varieties of borage are: Gnome, "April", "Okroshka", "Vladykinskoye Semko", "Brook", "Freshness".
Using borage in cooking
Fresh leaves are added to cabbage soup, okroshka, vinaigrette, cottage cheese, green salads, omelettes, sauces, and minced meat. Of these, a “green side dish” is prepared for meat: chopped borage and onion-slime leaves are fried in vegetable oil. If you add lemon juice and white pepper to the fried greens, then such a side dish is also suitable for fish dishes.
Petiole leaves of medium size are fried in a large amount of vegetable oil - chips are obtained. Vinegar infused with flowers has a special color and aroma. Flowers are used to brew herbal teas. They are combined with flowers and leaves of raspberries, blackberries, wild strawberries.
6. Rosemary officinalis
Rosemary officinalis (Rosmarinus officinflis) - spicy aromatic and medicinal perennial, evergreen, thermophilic plant up to 150 cm high. The leaves are leathery, dark green, needles-like. The flowers are pale bluish.
The root system is powerful.
Propagation Method: sowing seeds, dividing the bush, cuttings.
Rosemary is undemanding to soils, drought-resistant. Easily tolerates short-term temperature drops to -7about C. In regions with a temperate climate, it is grown as an indoor or container garden plant, which is brought into a cool and bright room for the winter. Resistant to disease and pests. Rosemary is much more aromatic in sunny areas. When growing rosemary at home, he needs backlighting.
The most popular varieties of rosemary: Tuscan Blue, Miss Jessopp’s Variety, Tenderness, Rosinka.
The use of rosemary in cooking
Seasonings are prepared from leaves and flowers, for example, with dried lemon peel, parsley, tarragon and salt. This seasoning is suitable for dishes of potatoes, beans, cauliflower, zucchini.
Potatoes, meat (especially pork), apples, plums are baked with rosemary.
Ground orange zest, cardamom, a little dry rosemary are ground with sugar and added to sweet dishes of rice, cottage cheese and fruits.
7. Ruta odorous or fragrant
Ruta odorous or fragrant (Rutaceae graveolens L.) Is an evergreen upright shrub up to 80 cm high. Other names: garden rue, noble rue. The plant is thermophilic, medicinal and aromatic. The leaves are openwork, gray-green or bluish up to 15 cm in length.
The flowers are small, characteristic greenish-yellow color, collected in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence. Flowering begins in mid-summer, lasts about a month. The fruits begin to ripen in September. The root system is fibrous, located superficially.
Propagation Method: cuttings, sowing seeds.
The plant is unpretentious. But it develops better in sunny, sheltered from wind areas with well-drained garden soil. Young plants are planted at a distance of 40 cm.
The most popular varieties of root: Jackman’s blue, "Gray fog".
Using Rue in cooking
The Latin name of the plant is often translated as “fragrant,” or rather, another translation is “odorous,” since the smell of fresh leaves of the root is sharp and not for everybody. When dried, this smell disappears and floral shades appear, sometimes similar to the scent of a rose.
Use in limited quantities, because the leaves of the root are bitter. In fresh and dry form, ruta is used only as a seasoning to give special flavors to broths, side dishes, pastry, pies, sauces, tinctures, vinegar, vegetable oils, herbal teas.
8. Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds (Carum carvi L.) Is a two-year, frost-resistant, herbaceous plant, spicy aromatic and medicinal. Other names: field caraway, wild anise. In the first year, a basal rosette appears with large, strongly dissected leaves on long stalks, and only in the second year quite long (about 100 cm) flower stalks grow and in August the seeds begin to ripen.
Propagation Method: only sowing seeds.
The plant is unpretentious, but in sunny areas with fertile moist soil gives higher yields.
The most popular caraway varieties: Tonus, Appetizing, Podolsky 9, Khmelnitsky.
The use of cumin in cooking
Powerful green leaves of caraway seeds that appear in early summer are used to make salads, soups, borscht, side dishes, sprinkled with omelettes and mashed potatoes.
Caraway seeds, as well as dried basil, several peas of black pepper, grind with salt - this aromatic salt is used for ready-made dishes. It is seasoned with potato salads and potato casseroles, stewed vegetables, pastas, unsweetened rice dishes. Aromatic salt is added to pastes and minced meat.
Caraway seeds, ground with sugar, are used in baking pies and kulebyak. “Caraway sugar” can be supplemented with the aroma of lemon peel, cardamom, ginger - they combine perfectly with caraway seeds. They are added to the filling of apples, pears, rhubarb, raisins and poppy seeds or mixed with flour.
Caraway seeds are ground with juniper berries and tinctures are prepared.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum L.) Is a perennial, herbaceous, rhizome plant. Other names: chives, bow-speed. The leaves are bright green, tubular, hollow, up to 25 cm high. The false stem is thin, usually no more than 10 cm and has 4–7 leaves.
Propagation Method: dividing the bush, sowing seeds.
False onion (its diameter is 0.8 cm) is lilac-white. The root system is quite strong, interwoven, located at a depth of 30 cm. It develops well in fertile moist soils. The plant is very unpretentious and cold-resistant.
To chives retain taste, its bushes are divided every 3-4 years.
The most popular varieties of chives: Moscow precocious, "Vitamin Sheaf", Green Ray, "Lilac ringing", "Bohemia".
Read more about growing chives in the article Chives - a useful culture for the lazy.
Using chives in cooking
Chives - an excellent culinary greens that appears early vein. Its taste can be pronounced, as well as very delicate. Fresh leaves and flowers are used to decorate and prepare pastes, cottage cheese or egg dishes, as well as for green and potato salads, herbal butter, omelets, side dishes for meat and fish dishes. Chives can be dried and frozen.
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) - perennial, rhizome, herbaceous plant, up to 150 cm high. Other names: dragoon grass, tarragon, tarragon wormwood. In one place it grows well for more than 10 years. Stems erect, numerous. The leaves are long, light green, fragrant. Contain from 0.5 to 1.3% of essential oil.
The flowers are very small, greenish-yellow, collected in small baskets (panicle inflorescence). Flowering begins in July. The root system is located at a depth of 20-30 cm. Powerful tarragon shoots appear at the very beginning of spring.
Propagation Method: cuttings, division of rhizomes, sowing seeds.
The plant is unpretentious, but in the shade and on waterlogged soils, the taste and aroma of tarragon deteriorate. Tarragon grows rapidly on loamy, well-drained soils rich in humus. He loves sunny, sheltered areas.
The most popular tarragon varieties: Valkovsky, "Monarch", "Zhulebinsky Semkabout", Goodwin, Green Dol, "Dobrynya".
Read more about growing tarragon in the article Tarragon, or Tarragon - culinary wormwood.
The use of tarragon in cooking
Young scented shoots are used for the preparation of salads, omelettes, pastes, vegetable soups, for flavoring vinegar, mustard, sauces and marinades. Tarragon goes well with chicken, fish, tomatoes, boiled eggs, ham, olives.
Herbal teas are prepared from tarragon leaves, adding lemon balm, oregano, blackcurrant leaves.