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Experiments of the Herbal Variety

By the time we’ve got to August, our abundant summer herbs are starting to flower and think about being past their best. Before that happens, we like to take them on a little experimental trip through the kitchen to see what interesting things we can squeeze out of them before it’s too late.

Here are some of the things we’ve been experimenting with:

Herb Vinegars

Simply place a handful of your chosen washed and picked herbs and flavourings into a kilner jar of good white wine or cider vinegar. Leave on a windowsill for a month and then add to salad dressings for a taste of summer any time of year.

Flavours we love:

- Sage and Blackberry
- Tarragon
- Bay and Black Peppercorn
- Basil

Herb Salts

Dry washed herbs in a single layer on the lowest setting of your oven for a couple of hours, then blitz or pound in a pestle and mortar with good quality sea salt till you have the texture you want. Store in a jar away from direct sunlight. Lovely sprinkled over BBQ’d meat and fish.

Flavours we love:

- Thyme and Lemon Zest
- Pink Peppercorn and Dill
- ‘Bouquet Garni’; Bay, Parsley, Sage and Thyme
- ‘Fines Herbes’; Chervil, Chives, Parsley and Tarragon

Herb Butters

Great kept in the freezer and sliced into a hot pan for an instant hit of flavour. Just blitz butter till soft and incorporate your chosen washed and chopped herbs. Roll into logs and wrap in clingfilm.

Flavours we love:

- Sage and Garlic
- Chives, Nasturtium Flowers and Lemon Zest
- Oregano, Marjoram and Orange Zest

Ingredients

Washed herbs
Summer fruits
Flavourings and spices

Equipment

Kilner jars
Food processor or Pestle and mortar
Cling film