about har­vest­ing & eat­ing

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Plants With A Purpose -

Leaves are best eaten fresh, as they do not store, dry or freeze well.

Start cut­ting as soon as seedlings have formed sev­eral leaves, but al­low plants to fully es­tab­lish be­fore cut­ting too much.

Cut­ting en­cour­ages fur­ther new growth – with­out it, the leaves be­come tough.

Young leaves are fresh, cool­ing and only slightly bit­ter, rather like the rind of cu­cum­ber, but older leaves are likely to be bit­ter and chewy.

The flow­ers are ed­i­ble, and pretty as a salad ac­cent but have lit­tle or no flavour.

Although it is best known for use in sal­ads, ad­ven­tur­ous cooks will not stop there. Cre­ative op­tions in­clude:

turn­ing it into a fresh, tangy top­ping for fish

whip­ping it into a de­li­cious cream cheese spread for sand­wiches, crepes or tor­tillas

team­ing it with sage and rose­mary in potato dishes

sprin­kling it onto cheese It’s a tra­di­tional favourite added to Pimms cock­tails, where it brings out the flavour of cu­cum­ber and citrus slices. In sum­mer, it is de­li­cious in drinks like gin, iced tea, lemon­ade, or with cu­cum­ber and lemon­scented wa­ter. It also adds a fresh zing to fresh berry fruit sal­ads.

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