Cilantro is an essential herb in Latin American cuisine. The leaves are also found in other ethnic recipes, and the seeds, coriander, are found in Indian and Chinese dishes. A small percentage of people taste a soap flavor when eating cilantro.
Dill flowers are attractive to many species of beneficial insects, making it a good choice for all gardens. Dill is used in pickling and making “dilly beans” and is excellent with roasted potatoes and vegetables.
Culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) has a perfume-like fragrance and flavor, and it produces lovely blue flower spikes in midsummer. Use it in poultry, stuffings and vegetable dishes. Tri-colored sage looks beautiful in containers and tastes great, though its flavor is a bit stronger than standard sage.
Arugula’s spicy, peppery flavor is distinctive. The leaves are elongated with irregular margins and look beautiful in a salad mix. Harvest arugula frequently to increase the production of fresh, new foliage.
An Asian green with sweet, mild flavor, young bok choy leaves can be eaten fresh in salads while mature leaves can be steamed, sautéed or stir-fried. Cultivars tolerant of heat are best for warmer climates, as they are more bolt-resistant.
There are dozens of cantaloupe varieties on today’s market. Choose a variety best suited to your climate. Urban growers may want to choose a fast-maturing variety like Fastbreak or Lil Loupe, which also take a little less space.
Homegrown watermelons are as sweet as you can get. Smaller-fruited varieties like Petite Treat and Sugar Baby are good choices for smaller households. Yellow-flesh varieties have a sweet, mellow flavor and are good for gardeners wanting to try something different.
Zucchini, also known as summer squash, comes in many varieties, including the standard long green types and yellow crooknecks. For something different, plant round varieties like Eight Ball or scallopini types for added interest and flavor.