How to Create a Perfect Pizza Herb Garden

Growing herbs in the garden is a great way to easily produce tasty herbs that will add flavor to your cooking. Skip the added preservatives of frozen store bought pizza and consider making your own this summer. Pizzas can be very adaptable to different tastes and preferences but adding herbs fresh from the garden is a great way to add flavor and interest to your meal.  Create an herb garden with these flavorful herbs to make perfectly fresh pizzas at home.

Sweet Basil

Growing basil in your pizza garden is a great way to add flavor and beauty to your pizza. Basil is also great for many other summer dishes and provides a unique and amazing taste that compliments a wide range of cuisines. Basil is easiest to grow as a starter but can also be planted as seed if started indoors.

Make sure that basil plants get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day and are planted in well-drained soil. Pinch off flower heads as they appear to encourage the plant to continue growing. Harvest basil as soon as the plant is at least 6 inches tall. The plant will continue growing as long as you pick the leaves on a regular basis.

Place full leaves on top of pizza or chop them up to sprinkle over the pizza. Basil is excellent when combined with tomato and mozzarella for a fresh taste.

Oregano

This is another pizza staple that combines well with many different pizza flavors. Oregano thrives in part to full sunlight and can be started from seeds or a plant. Once the plants reach about 4 inches tall pinch the leaves to help the plant grow large. Regular trimming will allow the plant to continue growing. Don’t worry about watering oregano too much as it doesn’t need extra or damp soil. Oregano is a self-seeding plant so it will grow back every year. Harvest the leaves as you need them for pizzas and consider stripping the leaves off of the branches if desired.

Oregano tastes best on pizzas with a savory meat such as sausage or with mushrooms, simply sprinkle or crush dried oregano on top of the pizza as desired.

Parsley

This is a delicious addition to pizza and can come in both flat and curly leaf varieties. Parsley is a slow starter so purchasing small established plants is a good way to make sure that you have enough parsley for pizzas. Parsley needs to be watered on a regular basis and enjoys moist soil conditions. You will know that parsley is ready to be harvested when the leaf stems have 3 segments. Cut the leaves off the plant and use directly on pizzas. Outer leaves will be the most mature while inner ones will need time to grow. Rough chop the leaves to make them smaller if desired.

As parsley gives off a delicately refreshing flavor, use it with toppings that have a more intense flavor like pancetta, figs, and gorgonzola cheese. You can also use parsley to make a wonderful parsley pesto sauce base.

Rosemary

This perennial evergreen shrub is an herb that has more of a definitive taste. It is very easy to spot and should be used sparingly on pizzas as a little goes a long way with this herb. Rosemary can grow up to 4 feet tall so it should be grown in a spot that will allow it a lot of space to spread out. Rosemary loves well-drained soil as well. Trim the plant on a regular basis and harvest the trimmings to use for fresh rosemary. Strip the leaves off of the stems and chop up to use on top of pizzas. For the freshest taste, harvest young stems as well.

Rosemary has a wonderfully potent flavor that really adds to a savory dish. For a pizza variation, use rosemary on a  white pizza (olive oil sauce base) with garlic, thin red potato slices, and a cheese such as goat or ricotta.

Growing an herb garden for use on pizzas is a good way to incorporate bright flavors along with your favorite pizza toppings. Consider growing sweet basil, parsley, oregano, and rosemary in your garden to use in summer cooking.

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