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How to: use your herb harvest

As the growing season draws to a close, our herb gardens are blousy with late summer growth. 

Plants slouch on each other and collapse across pathways, weighed down by a long hot season. 

Take this last opportunity to use the fragrant leaves in the kitchen, before winter’s bleak breath blows in.

Rosemary pizza

Drizzle olive oil over a purchased or homemade pizza base (if buying, choose one without tomato pizza sauce). Sprinkle over leaves from a few stems of rosemary and plenty of salt flakes. Bake in hot oven for 10 minutes, until base is crisp. Cut into thin slices and serve with drinks. For a meal version, lay thinly sliced potato on pizza base, then top with oil, rosemary and salt, and serve alongside a big garden-fresh salad.

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Rosemary steak

Finely chop the leaves from a stem of rosemary, then add plenty of fresh ground black pepper and a pinch of salt flakes. Press on to rump steak, drizzle with a little olive oil, then barbecue.


Bay and mushroom chicken sticks

Thread bay leaves, halved button mushrooms, and cubes of chicken thigh onto soaked bamboo skewers. Season and then grill until done.


Iced lemongrass tea

Bruise the end of a few stems of lemongrass. Steep in boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain and chill. Serve with ice cubes, and a fresh stem of lemongrass as garnish.


Fresh rice paper rolls

Lay out bowls of sliced cooked prawn, slivers of cucumber, grated carrot, cold rice noodles chopped into manageable lengths with kitchen scissors, chopped peanuts, and plenty of fresh herbs from the garden, including mint, basil, coriander and chives. Add a plate of soaked rice paper and let everyone create their own rolls. Make a dipping sauce using lime juice, sweet chilli sauce and fish sauce to taste.


Parsley salad

Roughly chop the leaves from a big handful of parsley, and put in a bowl with a punnet of halved cherry tomatoes and two cucumbers, peeled and seeded and chopped in small chunks. Mix through a handful of soaked burghul or couscous, then drizzle over a dressing of lemon juice, honey and olive oil.


Text: Robin Powell

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Author: Robin Powell