Not all herbs die down in winter. Fortunately some really flavourful ones are evergreen and can be used in our winter dishes.
• Rosemary (Rosmarinus sp.) An evergreen, winter-hardy shrub so leaves can be picked all year round. Use in casseroles or when roasting meat, potatoes or other vegetables. It can be added to a wood fire to give off a lovely aroma.
• Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) Perennial This is a low growing aromatic herb with a mint-camphor-like flavour. It can be slightly bitter. Add in a small quantity to oily fish dishes and meat stews. It also adds a refreshing flavour to salads.
• Bay (Laurus nobilis) An evergreen tree, growing to about 25ft in Great Britain. Usually clipped to maintain as a compact shrub in the herb garden. Leaves can be picked and used fresh throughout the year, to flavour stocks, sauces and marinades, or in bouquet garni.
• Sage (Salvia spp.) An evergreen perennial used for flavouring stuffings and other fatty foods, including sausages. It has a strong flavour, and should be used sparingly. Cooled sage tea is an effective gargle to help sore throats and as a mouth wash for infected gums or mouth ulcers because of its antiseptic properties.
Thyme (Thymus sp.) Thyme is an easy growing herb, which does prefer sunny and dry locations, but will tolerate most types of soil / location. It can be available for use throughout the winter providing a strong flavour in cooking, and combines well with other flavours such as chicken, garlic and tomato. Thyme also has antiseptic and preservative properties.