If you’re looking to cook food that’s authentic to a certain part of the world, one of the basic necessities is finding the right herbs and spices. The basis of a region’s flavor palette, herbs and spices can make or break a dish. Growing your own, if you can, is usually preferable, both because it tastes better and because it’s cheaper than hunting down something that’s rare and possibly expensive.
So what if you’re looking to cook Russian cuisine? What are some common herbs for Russian cooking that you can grow at home? Keep reading to learn more about how to grow Russian herbs.
Growing a Russian Herb Garden
Russia has a famously harsh climate and short summer, and Russian herb plants are adapted to that. That means they tend to have either short growing seasons or high cold tolerances. It also means that they can be grown in many climates. Here are some of the more popular Russian herbs and spices:
Dill– Dill is a famously popular accompaniment to cream and fish dishes, which makes it perfect for Russian cooking. While it is not especially cold hardy, it grows very quickly and can be ready to harvest even in the shortest Russian summer.
Chervil– Sometimes also known as “gourmet’s parsley,” this herb has a nice mild flavor and is much more common in European than American cooking. Chervil is also fairly easy to grow in most gardens.
Parsley– A very cold hardy plant that has a cheerfully bright green color and rich, leafy flavor, parsley is perfect for Russian cooking, particularly as a garnish on thick, creamy soups like borscht.
Horseradish– A cold hardy root that can be eaten fresh or pickled, horseradish has a strong, biting flavor that does an amazing job cutting through the heavier tastes of many Russian dishes.
Tarragon– Available in both French and Russian varieties, the Russian type is hardier in the cold but slightly less flavorful. Tarragon herbs are very popular in flavoring meats and other dishes, and are often used in a classic Russian soft drink called Tarhun.