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A Hankering for Herbs


Herbs are an essential in the G’NOSH kitchen, adding colour, flavour (and antioxidants) to anything. Herbs have culinary, medicinal and even spiritual qualities, with many herbs said to ward off evil, bring good luck and even bring love into your life. We’ve picked our top 4 and a few creative ways to use them. As a general rule of thumb, most ‘soft’ herbs (basil, mint, tarragon or parsley) are better chopped at the last minute and added at the end of cooking, as a garnish. Harder herbs, such as rosemary and sage, can survive longer and are better added at the beginning of cooking to gain the most from their potent flavours.

Mint

Our number one. Just as happy on a dessert as with a leg of lamb, or even masquerading as a tea, we could plan whole meals around mint. We use it in our beetroot dip to add freshness and flavour, and we throw it into our juices daily – it’s like a healthy morning mojito! We love sliced ripe buffalo tomatoes with finely chopped mint instead of basil, pepped up with lemon zest and plenty of seasoning.

Basil

Coming from the Greek word basileus, meaning King, basil is a ruler amongst herbs, with pesto being the most common way to use it. Sadly, jarred versions and cheap pesto ‘flavoured’ things have tarnished its reputation. We always have a basil plant in the kitchen, and one of our favourite ways to use it is with strawberries; simply mix some fresh torn basil with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of top quality honey and good quality balsamic vinegar. A very chic dessert!

Rosemary

Always associated with stews and roasts, rosemary is also great infused into olive oils so you can enjoy its flavour with a salad, or drizzled on a soup. Wash and dry the rosemary well. Gently heat up your best quality extra virgin olive oil, and, once warmed, pour into a bottle with the rosemary. Leave to infuse for a few days. Rosemary also makes fabulous kebab skewers in place of wooden sticks, making the most of the aromatic flavour.

Coriander

Love it or hate it, this seems to divide the masses like no other. You might have your genes to blame if coriander induces this marmite reaction in you – apparently it’s all down to whether or not you possess a certain receptor. Science aside, we love this earthy, pungent herb chopped finely on anything Asian, the citrus undertones complimenting fish perfectly. Try it with bream or mullet alongside some chopped green chilli and lemon juice.  The dried seeds add a certain depth to a chilli con carne and the stalks are great in a green curry paste.

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