Give dad a grilling garden this Father’s Day

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Sizzling steak, char-grilled chicken, backyard burgers — the grill is Dad’s domain. Dads who enjoy gardening as much as they enjoy BBQ will appreciate the gift of a grilling garden this Father’s Day. A grilling garden is a garden filled with fresh herbs used to season and marinade meats.

Tips for growing herbs

Italian parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, chives and oregano are versatile herbs that add zest and flavor to meats.

Purchase herb plants at a local nursery or garden center. Pick healthy herb plants with vibrant foliage and light-colored roots.

Herbs grow well in containers. Choose containers that honor dad’s style.

Be creative in your choice of containers, but keep in mind that containers must provide adequate drainage. Modify a closed container by drilling eight to 10 holes in the bottom.

Most herbs need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Place indoor herbs gardens in a south or west window to optimize light exposure. Outdoor planters require protection from wind and intense heat.

To transplant herbs, fill the containers with soilless potting mix, not garden soil. Place the herb plant in the container and surround it with additional potting mix. Water herbs to maintain moisture, do not drown plants or allow the mix to dry out completely.

Snip herbs regularly to encourage new growth. Freeze or dry excess herbs. Move the grilling garden indoors before frost.

Fresh herb marinade

  • 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped   
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage, chopped   
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend on high 1 minute. Place meat in a heavy Ziploc. Pour liquid over meat and marinade 8-12 hours before grilling.

Fresh herb butter

  • 2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup butter softened

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spoon mixture onto wax paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate until use. To use, melt a dab of fresh herb butter on meat during last 3-4 minutes of grill time. Brush with additional herb butter before serving.

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