Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

Posted on 2nd September 2013

Grow | Rosemary

By MEREDITH KIRTON

Rosemary is a much loved herb and used to flavour many dishes, but especially Mediterranean ones from where the plant is a native. It is an evergreen, oil-rich plant that normally grows as a bush about 1 x 1 m (3 x 3 ft), making it perfect for hedging, but it can also be more sprawling, in the case of ‘Blue Lagoon’, or completely ground-hugging, like prostrate rosemary. The spring flowers are normally sea blue, but there are also white, pink and dark and pale blue-flowered forms.

For best results, plant rosemary in a sunny position in freely draining soil, and if yours is acid, then add some lime or dolomite. Rosemary also does well in pots. Feed lightly after flowering, and trim back all over. This usually coincides with Remembrance Day in the southern hemisphere (11 November) and encourages plants to stay bushy.

Rosemary is easily dried but can be picked fresh all year round.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: , , , ,

Posted under grow
Posted on 2nd September 2013

Harvest | Rosemary

By MANDY SINCLAIR

Storage:

One of the more robust herbs, rosemary can be cut and stored in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Use rosemary sprigs in any number of pickles or chutneys. It is even delicious when added to the poaching syrup of bottled fruit

What to do with glut

  • To Dry

Rosemary spice rub recipe

Dried rosemary spice rub

Toast 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves in a dry frying pan for 2–3 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the almonds, seeds and rosemary until ground. Use to coat fish, chicken or beef. Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

Makes ¼ cup.

 

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: , ,

Posted under harvest
Posted on 2nd September 2013

Cook | Rosemary

By MANDY SINCLAIR

Rosemary and Potato pizza recipe

Potato and rosemary pizza

2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 sachet (7 g/1/4 oz) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup rosemary sprigs
sea salt flakes

1. Combine the flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Combine the warm water with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Stir into the flour until just combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough into a ball. Knead for 2 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Brush a bowl with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Place the dough into the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
2. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) or 200°C (400°F) for a fan-forced oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Punch down the dough and press out to a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 in) rectangle. Place on the prepared tray.
3. Drizzle half the remaining oil over the dough and scatter over the garlic. Top with the potato and rosemary. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the pizza is crisp and golden. Drizzle over the remaining oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Serves 4

Tip

Halve the dough and make into 2 smaller round or square pizzas. Crumble over the meat from a pork and fennel sausage, if desired.

Try this…

Rosemary lamb cutlets
Choose 6 long stems of rosemary with tender, pliable stalks. Using a small sharp knife, make a small incision along the bottom centre of each stalk. Wrap around the outside of each of 6 lamb cutlets, securing it by slipping the top of the rosemary sprig through the incision at the base. Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue to medium. Cook lamb for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Serves 2.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: , , ,

Posted under cook
Posted on 14th July 2013

Grow | Bay

By MEREDITH KIRTON

Bay tree with leaves

Bay trees (Laurus noblis) has been sacred since Ancient Greece and its healing properties are well documented and is has long been associated with wisdom, knowledge, glory and accolade, and was made into a wreath for marking excellence However it is the wonderful flavour that bay leaves impart to soups, stews and stocks for which it’s most famous, and it is also an essential ingredient in Bouquet Garni.
Bay trees grow to about 8m when fully mature, but can also be used as a hedge or topiary, clipping easily into shapes such as cones or standards, where they often are seen in tubs outside French restaurants.  They will cope with frost but prefer to be protected from icy winds.  Well draining, enriched soil with a think mulch will help keep their roots moist and well nourished over spring and summer.
The leaves can be harvested and used fresh or dried year round, but do watch for scale insects and the resulting black sooty mould to which they can fall victim, and use a horticultural oil to treat any infestation.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: , , ,

Posted under grow
Posted on 14th July 2013

Harvest | Bay

By MANDY SINCLAIR

fresh bay leaves for cooking

Storage:

Pick as needed or dry as described below.

What to do with glut

  • To Dry
    Tie a bunch of bay sprigs with twine. Hang bunch upside-down in the kitchen for about 2-4 weeks, until dry. Store in a cliplock bag in a cool dark place.

Bouquet garni

A bundle of aromatic herbs tied together and used to add flavour to stews, soups, slow cooking, roasts, stuffings

To make a bouquet garni, gather together a few parsley stalks, thyme sprigs and fresh or dried bay leaves. Tie together with kitchen twine, leaving a long end to assist in removing after cooking.

bouquet garni recipe

 

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: ,

Posted under harvest
Posted on 14th July 2013

Cook | Bay

By MANDY SINCLAIR

Barley, zucchini and asparagus risotto recipe

Barley, zucchini & asparagus risotto

1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, finely sliced
1 cup pearl barley
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 zucchini, diced
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve (optional)
30g butter

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium. Cook leek for 2-3 mins, until soft. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins, until lightly toasted.
2. Heat stock, bay leaves and 2 cups of water until boiling. Add to barley, one ladle at a time, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding stock, until all stock has been used and barley is tender, about 40 mins. Discard b ay leaves.
3. Add zucchini, asparagus, cheese and butter and mix well. Remove from heat, cover and sit for 5 mins, until creamy. Serve in bowls topped with extra parmesan, if using.

Serves 4

Tip

Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock if preferred. Stir through 2 cups shredded chicken with the zucchini and asparagus.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: , , ,

Posted under cook
Posted on 6th March 2012

grow | thyme

By MEREDITH KIRTON

grow your own thyme

kitchen garden thyme

Thyme, with all its delightful foliage and flavour variants, makes a beautiful addition not just to your recipes but also as a perennial in your garden.  There are so many types, from ‘Silver Posy’, a white edged leaf form, to golden leafed forms, some that smell like lemons or oranges and others that make pizza come alive.

All are only small growers, getting about 20cm tall at best, and others, like woolly thyme, growing perfectly flat and able to be walked upon like a groundcover.  In fact, with stepping stones between them, thyme lawns are a delightful way of finishing areas around paving or pathways.

Success with your thyme is dependent on three things. 1. Thyme needs good drainage. 2. It has to have plenty of sunshine. 3. An annual top dressing of lime makes the soil pH alkaline enough to be able to thrive.  In other ways, thyme is easily grown, drought tolerant, mostly cold tolerant and able to be harvested year round.

Try to pick your thyme before it flowers in summer, just so you have more delicious leaves.  Early morning harvesting is best, and scissors are ideal as they cut cleanly.  Regularly trimming means that your stems are not too tough, and it will encourage bushy regrowth.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

Tags: ,

Posted under grow