The Simple Things - - KITCHEN GARDENING -

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.

l 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.

l 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.

l 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.

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