A delicious new addition to our herb plants and a great addition to your herb gardening - Epazoteis a culinary herb well-known to Mexican and Caribbean cooking. The name comes from the Aztec (Nahuatl) epazotl. It is most commonly used in black bean recipes to ward off some of the "negative" side affects of eating beans. The epazote herb plant has become a distinct flavor in Mexican cuisine and is now used to season a variety of dishes including beans, soups, salads and quesadillas. The older leaves on this culinary herb have a stronger flavor and should be used sparingly. Younger leaves have a milder, yet richer flavor.
How to Grow an Epazote Plant?
The epazote plant is not fussy about soil, but wants full sun and good drainage. As with most herb plants, a less-than-rich soil produces the best and most concentrated flavor in the leaves. It can grow fairly large, up to 2 to 3 feet tall, so give it a large pot or container. If you elect to grow epazote outdoors, beware: it self-seeds readily and is considered highly invasive.
Epazote is usually described as an annual, but apparently can be perennial given warm winter temperatures (as we would have indoors). So take care of your epazote plant and it might last you some years. When harvesting, cut the center stem first, to encourage bushing. Prune the plant frequently to prevent flowering and assure a continuing supply of leaf, but don't harvest more than half the plant at a time.