In a new series, Lia Leendertz picks herbs from her garden to cook in her kitchen. Could it be simpler? To begin, try these unusual ways with herbs:
- Plucking the leaves and chopping them into food is not the only way you can use herbs: when you grow your own, other possibilities open up.
- Many herbs have edible flowers that taste like a slightly honeyed version of the leaf. Basil, oregano and thyme flowers are all ambiguous enough to use as garnishes for sweet or savoury food, and chive, dill and sage flowers are beautiful scattered over savoury dishes and salads.
- Make use of seeds, particularly in their young and green stages, when they are like nothing you will ever be able to buy. Green coriander seeds in particular are pungent little flavour bombs and green fennel seeds are sweet, crunchy and aniseedy.
- Buy a packet of seeds (or, even better, collect your own) and you can sow them thickly and harvest within a week or so as micro leaves, to provide little punchy and flavourful garnishes. Basil, dill, chervil, fennel and chive all make excellent micro greens.
Turn to page 33 of March’s The Simple Things for more advice on what to grow and where.