Herb sal­ads, SIDES & MAINS

Herbs may be the star of a dish or sup­port the nat­u­ral flavour of other in­gre­di­ents. Ei­ther way, fresh herbs can help make sal­ads, sides and mains all taste fan­tas­tic!

Herbs & Superfoods - - Favourite Herb Recipes -

Sal­ads, sides and mains all taste bet­ter with a sprin­kling of herbs, even in the depths of win­ter. To en­sure a reg­u­lar sup­ply for win­ter cook­ing, Get Grow­ing reader In­grid Do­dun­ski-wiid freezes her home­grown basil and mint when in fresh sup­ply. “I love mak­ing tab­bouleh and you need mint and pars­ley for that. My mint dies down early, so I pick it when I have an abun­dance and freeze it. I freeze fresh pars­ley for times of short­age or rainy days when I can’t be both­ered run­ning around in the wet. I make a pars­ley pesto with lots of wal­nuts, parme­san and an olive and canola oil mix. I found if you use only olive oil, it sets in the fridge.”

Je­si­hana Hutch­ings of Taranaki freezes her pars­ley too. “I pre­fer curly leaf pars­ley in soups and stews, so I cut off a hand­ful or two, rinse the leaves, then sep­a­rate the stalks from the leaves and freeze them, separately, af­ter chop­ping finely. I put the chopped pars­ley leaves in a zi­plock bag, press­ing out any ex­cess air, be­fore seal­ing, and the stalks in a small plas­tic con­tainer. When needed, you can take the pars­ley leaf out of the freezer and sim­ply scrape off what you need with a tea­spoon. Im­me­di­ately it de­frosts. It’s the same with the pars­ley stalks.”

Use fresh pars­ley for this tasty pars­ley and parme­san crust for bar­be­cued beef or lamb.

In­gre­di­ents • 2 ta­ble­spoons Ital­ian flat-leaf pars­ley • 3 an­chovies • 2 gar­lic cloves • 2 cups bread­crumbs • salt • 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil

Finely chop the pars­ley and an­chovies, and crush the gar­lic. Mix in a bowl with the freshly grated parme­san cheese and bread­crumbs. Add olive oil and use your fin­gers to blend. Sea­son with salt. Maria Rohs reckons a green salad is much more flavour­some when herbs are added. “I es­pe­cially like a mix­ture of very finely chopped rose­mary, thyme and pars­ley, and some­times co­rian­der. Chop more than you need as the mix­ture keeps well for at least a week in an air­tight con­tainer in the fridge.”

Sonya Cameron makes pick­led green co­rian­der pods to use in sal­ads and main dishes.

In­gre­di­ents • ½ to 1 cup green co­rian­der pods • 1 cup unchlo­ri­nated water • 2 tea­spoons un­re­fined salt

Put seeds in a small jar with a lit­tle bit of headspace. Cover with brine. Top with a sealed, water-filled zi­plock bag (or sim­i­lar to keep the pods sub­merged). Al­low to fer­ment out of di­rect sun­light for 4-7 days. As the seeds fer­ment, the brine will turn

cloudy. Store in a jar with a tight­ened lid in the fridge for up to 6 months.

As an en­trée, side or plate to take to par­ties, Jenny Mclaren likes to make stuffed eggs with thyme. “I have friends who do not eat any of the al­lium fam­ily, so I pon­dered as to what else I could add to give a tasty flavour. I tried a few dif­fer­ent herbs, but the one I liked most was thyme.

“Af­ter boil­ing and shelling eggs, cut in half, re­move yolks and while still warm, add but­ter, salt and pep­per, mus­tard (op­tional) and thyme leaves. Mix all to­gether and if not moist enough add a lit­tle cream (I do not like may­on­naise as it is too sweet). Re­fill white halves with the mix­ture and if you wish, sprin­kle with a lit­tle paprika.”

Sue Wooldridge likes to use sum­mer sa­vory ( Sa­tureja hort­en­sis) in var­i­ous dishes. “It is an of­ten over­looked an­nual herb, but it goes well with lamb, in bean sal­ads and thrown in with roasted veg­eta­bles and tomato dishes. It freezes well for year-round use.”

For Sue’s green bean and sum­mer sa­vory salad, steam enough green beans for your meal. For ev­ery hand­ful of beans, blanch a good-sized tomato and re­move the skin. Chop finely with a small clove of gar­lic per tomato and add ¼ to ½ cup of freshly chopped sum­mer sa­vory, stalks re­moved. Add a ta­ble­spoon or two of French dress­ing, then dress the beans with this mix­ture. Fin­ish with salt and freshly ground pep­per as re­quired. Best at room tem­per­a­ture and eaten when made.

Diana Short of North­cote loves veg­e­tar­ian mint, pars­ley and nut ris­soles. She says they are suit­able for use in burg­ers or pita bread.

In­gre­di­ents • 1 cup chopped wal­nuts • 1 cup chopped pecans • 1 cup chopped hazel­nuts (or 3 cups nuts of your choice) • 1 cup chopped, shelled sun­flower seeds, or seeds of choice • 1 onion chopped • 2 cups cooked rice • 1 tea­spoon chopped mint • 1 tea­spoon chopped pars­ley • 2 eggs • Oil for fry­ing

Com­bine all in­gre­di­ents, form into small ris­soles and fry un­til cooked.

Brenda Meech serves a retro herbed cheese ball with salty crack­ers.

In­gre­di­ents • 250g cream cheese • 2 cups grated cheese • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped • 4 gherkins, finely chopped • 2 ta­ble­spoons crushed pineap­ple • 2 tea­spoons Worces­ter­shire sauce • salt and cracked black pep­per, to taste • a ‘sniff’ of cayenne pep­per • 2 ta­ble­spoons each chopped fresh chives, basil and co­rian­der

Put all in­gre­di­ents (ex­cept herbs) in a bowl. Mix well. Shape into a log or ball. Roll in chopped fresh herbs. Chill.

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