Summer is the season where fresh herbs really come into their own. Here’s a few of our favourites along with some delicious ideas on how to get the best out of them.
As every home cook knows, nothing beats cooking with herbs - especially if you’ve grown them yourself! Growing your own herbs doesn’t take much time or space. Many thrive in kitchen window boxes which you can pop on your windowsill. They also love sunlight, so popping your seedlings in a sunny area of your garden will also help them to thrive.
Summer is the season where fresh herbs really come into their own. You can grab a fistful of parsley to throw into a grain salad, chop up basil leaves to sprinkle over tomatoes and mozzarella or use rosemary stalks as skewers for grilled meat. Here’s a few of our favourites along with some delicious ideas on how to get the best out of them.
Basil is the perfect summer herb. It thrives in the sunshine and grows pretty much anywhere - from greenhouses to pots on your kitchen windowsill. We love grabbing a handful of fresh basil and using it in pasta sauces, salads, stir-fries and bakes, like our Roasted Tomato, Ricotta, Red Pepper and Basil Puff Pastry Tart Handily, it grows in a number of different varieties, meaning that you can experiment with different tastes and dishes. One of our favourites is Thai Holy Basil which has a spicy liquorice-like taste. It’s a key ingredient in Pad Krapow Moo, a Thai dish where it is stir fried with pork and topped with a fried egg. Delicious!
Parsley is one of the most popular herbs in British cooking, making it a must to include in your kitchen herb garden. It comes in two varieties - curly and flat leaf. Flat leaf tends to have a stronger flavour and works well with other herbs like Basil, such as in Basil and Parsley Pesto (we like to mix a tablespoon of this into boiled new potatoes) and Mint in salads like Tabbouleh (great for packed lunches!)
Mint is one of the most useful culinary herbs there is and beautifully versatile. You can use it to create a classic sauce for a Sunday Roast - lamb and mint is a fantastic flavour combination - or steep it in hot water for a refreshing tea. You don’t just have to use it fresh, either. If you’ve got too much mint and not enough window box space, you can freeze it to use later. Simply dice it finely, then pop it into ice cube trays.
If you’ve always thought of rosemary as being more of a winter herb, think again. Use rosemary in your marinades for pork, lamb and chicken
before throwing them on the grill pan
. Not only will they taste great, they’ll also smell delicious! You can also create a delicious syrup from rosemary to use in summer cocktails and mocktails
, or just use the sprigs as swizzle sticks in your Gin and Tonic - they definitely make a more adventurous garnish than the traditional slice of lemon!
With its distinctive aniseed scent and liquorice flavour, Tarragon is an excellent choice for any kitchen gardener. While it comes in a number of varieties, French tarragon has the best taste and aroma. Use it in fish and chicken dishes, like these recipes for Tarragon Salmon
and Tarragon Chicken
from Nigella Lawson, or try making a Béarnaise sauce
to go with your Steak and Chips. For a truly indulgent summer treat, try it with this recipe from Great British Chefs for freshly caught Lobster and Triple Cooked Chips
Which one of these herbs is your favourite? Which delicious dishes will you be using them in this summer? Let us know by becoming a fan of our Facebook page or by tagging @CirculonUK on Instagram.