I was cooking yesterday, and as I was popping some fresh thyme into the pot, realised that growing vegetables is all well and good, but they sometimes need a helping hand in the flavour department. What they need is herbs.

I have a bay tree in a pot that I rarely use, but I get through quite a bit of thyme, basil, chives and coriander and I can’t believe that I haven’t thought about growing them. Basil and coriander won’t last through the winter, and they may even struggle with the British Summer, or lack of, but thyme should be happy all year round as will some of the more hardy herbs like chives and lemon balm.

There is something so special about fresh herbs. The taste and vibrancy that they bring to a dish is unsurpassed. I hit the internet, and pretty quickly into my shopping basket popped, lemon balm, lemon grass, thyme, basil and chives. I need to get a bucket to grow them in at the weekend.

I have never used lemon balm, but I believe that it makes a wonderful ice-cream; lemongrass is just gorgeous; chives are great with soft cheese (something I want to have a go at making but no, I am not getting a goat); basil I throw into pasta sauce or eat on a salad of mozzerella and tomatoes; thyme is fabulous with mushrooms or in the veggie cottage pie I made this afternoon; coriander goes into anything vaguely Asian.

At this rate, they yard will be full, I can’t get out there

 

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