I had a complete over abundance of herbs left over from some recipe testing last week. They were sitting in the fridge slowly begining to lose life and needed to be used now before their only possible destination was the bin. As much as I love the freshness of a herb, I think it would be a bit much to sit down and munch them all straight up so I’ve opted for preserving their freshness in a few different ways. If you remember my post about the basil oil, I’ve done something pretty similar with some mint and coriander. I’ve also made a tarragon and dill vinegar, a basil and chive pesto and hung some thyme and oregano up to dry. Here are the recipes….
Coriander, Mint and Chilli Oil
10g coriander, 10g mint leaves, 450ml olive oil, 2 dried chillies
Blitz up the coriander and mint leaves with the olive oil. Place over a medium heat and bring up to the boil. Let it simmer away for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 30mins. Strain through a sieve and then pour into a bottle with the halved chillies. Allow to infuse with the chillies for a couple of weeks before using in salad dressings and in cooking anything that you might usually use these flavours with.
Dill and Tarragon Vinegar
15g dill, 15g tarragon, 350ml white wine vinegar.
Chop up the dill and tarragon and place in saucepan with the vinegar. Bring up to the boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Leave to infuse for half an hour and then push through a seive, making sure you get all the vinegar out of the herbs. Pour into a bottle and store. Use in salad dressings or it could be good used with some sugar to pickle some fish.
Basil and Chive Pesto
50g basil, 10g chives, 35g parmesan (grated), 150ml olive oil, 35g cashew nuts, 45g hazelnuts.
Blitz all the ingredients together and season with salt. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. Use on pasta, soups or risottos.
Oregano and Thyme
To dry these herbs, simple tie a bundle of them up and hang somewhere cool to dry. I’m not sure how long it will take, but will let you know in due course…