Last week in DT, we were having a herb taste test. We tasted basil, chives, rosemary, tarragon, parsley and mint. They all tasted different to each other.
Chives: Chives are members of the onion family. They form small bulbs, dying back to below ground every winter. They’ve been grown in China since 300 BC and were used as an antidote to poisoning. Chives can be grown in pots indoors from March or outdoors from May. Chives, when cut up finely, add a mild onion, flavour to salads, jacket potatoes, butter and soups.
Mint: Mint has several types, each with its own different flavor and appearance. The most popular type is spearmint, with a familiar refreshing flavour. Mint is at its peak from May to September. Mints are invasive so are best planted in pots. Mint is used in lots of dishes such as fruit salad, raita and Thai dishes.
Parsley: Parsley is one of the most used herbs in British cookery. The traditional choice is curly parsley, but flat leafed parsley is also available. It grows outdoors in warmer weather but can also be put in pots all year round. When large enough, grow them outside.
Basil: This herb has a sweet and strong flavor and smell. Basil has 3 Mediterranean types, sweet, Greek and purple. In mid-spring, sow them from seed on a warm windowsill or in greenhouses. Pound in a pestle and mortar or a food processer with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil to make pesto.
Tarragon: This is a popular herb and a flavour of sweet aniseed and mild vanilla. The leaves are narrow and tapering, growing from a long, slender stem. Tarragon is available in pots all year round but grows outdoors in warmer weather. Use this to make sauces for fish and poultry. You can also add it to salad dressings, butter or white wine vinegar.
Rosemary: The Latin name means sea dew which could come from its habit of growing close to the sea and its dew-like flowers. Buy some rosemary in pots and plant them in late spring. The leaves are used to flavour pizza, bread, scones and are great with scones!
Have a look HERE for some photos from our investigations.
Seb and Zahra