Photo Copyright Jason Lugo

In my back yard I have a garden containing a variety of herbs growing in several containers. Most are combined with other herbs, but the vigorous mint is in a pot alone due to its proliferation. I love that I can walk out my back door to my herb garden. The water fountain is soothing; the beautiful summer weather warms my bare feet as I take my time gathering the herbs I need for the day. I snip chives for a baked potato, trim off basil for pesto and chop cilantro for fresh salsa. Herbs are easy and inexpensive to grow while looking beautiful my backyard garden.

Photo Copyright Jason LugoGrowing fresh herbs is a great way to flavor your summer recipes. Here are just a few ideas.

Cilantro and mint go great with a fruit salad of melons and grapes. Just sprinkle a little lime juice over the fruit and, if desired, sweeten with agave nectar or sugar. I also love fresh dill chopped into summer pea salad, potato salad and lettuce salads. For flavor and color in your favorite pasta salad, toss in some chopped basil and parsley.

A platter of sliced tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese is a colorful side dish that’s bursting with flavor. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and if desired olive oil.

Mint adds a sweet flavor to salads and also goes well mixed with fruit for a sweet ice cream topping. Garnish drinks and dishes with mint sprigs. They will look as good as they taste.

Since summer is the season for cookouts, camping, picnics and family reunions. It’s time to grab those tried and true recipes and experiment by adding fresh herbs for variety, color, and flavor. This chicken salad recipe uses fresh herbs and has a flavorful crunch from the toasted almonds and celery. Try the salad in a wrap, on crackers or artisan breads. No matter if you’re at home or gathered around a picnic table at a family reunion, this recipe could soon become a family favorite.

Photo Copyright Jason Lugo

Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked chopped chicken breasts
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
2 teaspoons fresh basil chopped
2 teaspoons fresh dill chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint chopped
½ cup chopped celery
2 green onions sliced thin
½ cup toasted slivered almonds
White wine vinegar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except for white wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for two hours then serve on your favorite bread or wrap.

About the author

Mary Beth Sligar - Mary is a native of Idaho, married with four children. In addition to her passion for writing, she enjoys art, music, photography, and crafting. She is a freelance writer based in Twin Falls, Idaho currently working on short stories and a novel.

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