Fresh herbs make all the difference to a summer dish and although the supermarkets keep a reasonable stock of both fresh cut and potted plants, there’s nothing like picking rosemary and sage from your kitchen door.
Now that the Glam 21 (there’s only one Teen left, need to think of another name, any ideas?) has built us a fantastic patio with raised oak beds, I’ve had a great time planning my fragrant garden with the help of Jekka’s Complete Herb Book. Ensuring a variety of flavours and a plethora of edible flowers, tiny, pretty purple and yellow Heartsease; zingy marigolds and nasturtiums, which’ll show their bright orange faces in a week or two. Now that everything’s planted and had time to acclimatise I’ve started picking and cutting.
At one end of the herb beds I’ve planted some beans and sugar snap peas. Not having grown vegetables before I’ll wait until next year to try tomatoes. However I bought some wonderful Heritage tomatoes yesterday in London and despite the fact that they were grown in Holland (not much British heritage there then.) I knew they’d be perfect with my herb dressing and add a touch of summer sun, to what is a wet, windy and gloomy start to the season.
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons tarragon finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chives finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chervil finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar together in a glass jar or cup
- Add the olive oil and groundnut oil and whisk in the herbs and shallots
- Season to taste
- Pour over 800g of sliced tomatoes mixed with 150g mozzarella pearls
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