March is the perfect month to experiment with herbs, to bring freshness and flavour to your cooking. How hard can it be to make supermarket herbs last? Alive one minute, wilting the next... Help those pots of herbs enjoy a longer lifespan.
Supermarket herbs are grown for value, so there is a lot of plant crammed into a little pot, causing overcrowding and competition for nutrients. Potting on in a bigger container will give the plant room to grow.
Best for: Thyme, chives, sage, parsley, basil, mint and rosemary
This encourages growth and lets light in.
Best for: Parsley, oregano, thyme
On a basil plant, don't be tempted to pick the biggest leaves first. Pinch out the smaller leaves at the top of the stem instead, to encourage growth.
Best for: Basil
Drenching herbs can kill them. Instead, water from below by sitting the pot on a saucer of water until the soil feels moist, but not wet. Let the soil dry out before repeating.
Best for: all herbs
Recipe: Winter herb salad
Go heavy on the herbs. This Middle Eastern-style dish is packed with punchy flavours. Serves 4.
1 large bunch flat-leaved parsley
1 large bunch coriander
5 cauliflower florets
A handful of radishes
5 spring onions
For the dressing:
Zest and juice of half a lemon
30ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Roughly chop the herbs and the radishes and slice the spring onions, and put them together into a large bowl. Take the central stems out of the cauliflowers to break them up into tiny florets. Add to the salad.
2. Put all of the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake them together, then pour over the salad and mix well.