Copious crops? These culinary ideas will help you cope with a herb glut
Get creative with herbs
Make a vinegar Take a clean jar, fill loosely with your herb, add vinegar to the top, close tightly and leave to steep for 4–6 weeks. strain, then use in marinades or salads. As a rule, stronger herbs go well in red wine vinegar; if the herb will colour the liquid, opt for white.
Add to drinks Add mint with cucumber and lemon to water and infuse for 10 mins in the fridge for a great hot-weather quencher. Add handfuls of parsley, dill or basil to juices for a health and flavour boost.
Freeze them in ice cubes to add to meals when fresh supplies are low Fill ice trays about 1/4 full of filtered water, fill with your freshest leaves, then cover with water.
Want to know what to grow? Jekka McVicar’s knowhow is second to none. Here are her top tips.
• Oregano is the easiest herb to grow in poor, dry conditions. It is happy to be planted in the type of soil that other herb varieties wouldn’t put up with.
• Supermarket herbs are best on window sills. Amazing as it sounds, they’re actually raised to cope with indoor conditions. Pick leaves regularly and don’t let them dry out or, indeed, overwater them.
• Contrary to what you might think, coriander is a bit of a tricky customer. It needs shade as well as a rich, fertile soil that doesn’t dry out.
• The easiest herbs to grow from seed are rocket, purslane or dill. They will put on a good show whether sown in trays or directly into the ground.
• Mint is easy to propagate. It’s the best herb to try if you’re new to taking cuttings.
• Plant parsley this month. Sow directly into the soil by the end of August for fresh pickings through winter.