How to use fresh herbs

The ar­rival of spring means young, green herbs are sprout­ing like mad. Whether added to casseroles, pasta, sauces or sal­ads, herbs add a fresh­ness, fra­grance and en­tic­ing flavour to your cook­ing

Taste - - Contents -

Pars­ley and mint are among the most com­mon and ver­sa­tile herbs in Kiwi gardens. Pars­ley is an es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent in gre­mo­lata – a condi­ment made from a finely minced bunch pars­ley, 2 crushed cloves gar­lic and zest 1 lemon. An­chovies can be added for a salty umami hit, too. Gre­mo­lata adds bright­ness and aro­mat­ics to heav­ier dishes such as braised meats and is tra­di­tion­ally served with veal, es­pe­cially a clas­sic os­sobuco. But it also goes well with lamb (you could sub­sti­tute mint for pars­ley here) and is an ex­cel­lent ac­com­pa­ni­ment to fish and seafood dishes. Add a glug of good olive oil to cre­ate a ter­rific marinade, and a splash of flavoured vine­gar on top of that for a re­fresh­ing salad dress­ing.

An­other easy way to utilise an abun­dance of pars­ley and mint is tab­bouleh, a pars­ley and grain salad made by soak­ing

cup burghul in boil­ing wa­ter un­til ten­der (30 min­utes-1 hour). Drain and dress with cup lemon juice. Chop 2 bunches pars­ley and bunch mint, toss through the soft­ened grains with 2 chopped toma­toes, 2 chopped spring onions or some chopped red onion, a glug olive oil and a lit­tle salt. Chopped cu­cum­ber can also be added for ex­tra crunch.

Herbs such as dill, fen­nel, car­away and co­rian­der pro­duce tasty seeds. Har­vest seed heads just be­fore they turn brown so seeds don’t fall off. Snip en­tire heads and place in a pa­per bag to dry. Af­ter dry­ing, shake the seeds loose into the bag.

A her­bal habit Add chopped fresh herbs such as rose­mary or thyme to bread dough. Toss plucked leaves from ten­der herbs into a salad. Stuff tar­ragon, sage or pars­ley into the cav­ity of a chicken or whole fish be­fore cook­ing. Mix chopped herbs into soft­ened but­ter, may­on­naise or aioli.

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