Category Archives: Herbs

Courgette and Mint Linguine with Pecorino

The addition of mint to this dish brings a wonderful freshness to the courgettes and as it takes less than 15mins it a great quick dinner straight from the veg patch, I like to use Pecorino but a aged Manchego is another great sheeps cheese that works well you could use Parmesan if you have that handy

Quantities given are just guidelines as its a recipe which every family will adapt to suit there tastes  add more/less garlic/oil/cheese/mint according to taste.

Ingredients
2 large courgettes
1-2 garlic cloves
100-200ml extra virgin olive oil
500g  Linguine
100g pecorino or a good Manchego ,grated
Salt and black pepper
A good  sprig of fresh mint, leaves torn into little bits

 Method

Wash and slice the courgettes into 2-3mm thick rounds. Peel the garlic. For a milder flavour, crush it with the back of a knife so it splits, but remains whole. For a stronger flavour, slice. Bring a large pan of water to the boil in preparation for the spaghetti.

 

Fry the garlic gently in the olive oil over a medium heat until fragrant, then use a slotted spoon to scoop it out – it will burn otherwise and turn bitter.

 

 

Working in batches, fry the courgette discs on both sides until they have become lightly blistered and golden, then use a slotted spoon to lift them on to kitchen towel to blot. Sprinkle lightly with salt and keep the remaining oil in the pan.

 

Once the water is boiling, add salt, then the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Either drain the spaghetti – keeping some cooking water – or use tongs to lift it directly into the frying pan and toss in the leftover courgette oil it will sizzle

 

 

 

Tip the glistening spaghetti into a warm dish or bowl

 

 

 

 

 

add half the cheese, a grind of black pepper and most of the ripped mint and toss.

 

 

 

Arrange the courgettes on top and finish with the rest of the cheese and mint. like lots of wonderfully tasty Italian food this is not the most elegant food but it is fantastically full of flavour

 

 

Broad Bean Hummus with Lemon Zest & Mint

 Broad beans tend to be regarded as somehow not quite as good as the borlotti and french beans of high Summer perhaps its because they are easy to grow but for me this simple dip transforms them into a great quick  hummus in under 10 Minutes

Ingredients

160g broad beans podded

juice 1/2 small lemon

15 mint leaves

4 tb extra virgin olive oil, plus extra

zest of small lemon

sea salt, to taste

Method

Boil or steam the beans for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Older beans may need longer cooking.

Rinse under cold water with ice cubes,  drain in a colander.

Remove outer skins  especially with older beans, best way slice one end and gently  squeeze bean out

Blitz beans, salt, lemon juice and mint until smooth in a processor or with a hand held stick blender, adding olive oil in a stream until you achieve the consistency you desire.

If you like a coarse texture you can break up the beans with a fork

chop Lemon zest into fine pieces

A good quality, mild tasting oil makes all the difference to the taste

Once smooth, add zest and taste seasoning.cover with little more oil to keep in fridge for a couple of days if you can resist it

Great with seeded crackers and cool beer

Winter Salads

One of the great pleasures of growing vegetables is to be able to harvest fresh salad in the cooler months,the flavor seems fresher and more welcome through autumn and Winter

its important to use varieties that are adapted to growing in these cooler conditions

The varieties that work for me are Continue reading Winter Salads

Winter Savory

How to grow Winter Savory                                                                                  (Satureja montana)

There are two main types of Savory which can be grown in Gardens – Summer Savory which is an annual – and Winter Savory which is a perennial and we can grow both of these herbs quite happily in our gardens.  Winter savory can be grown even if we get quite a lot of frost and snow so making it a really useful herb.

 

satureja-montana-flowerIf you want to grow Savory the best way to think about it is if you grow Rosemary then Winter Savory will grow just as easily.

 

Growing conditions

Savory needs Continue reading Winter Savory