Winter Herbs

Flavour from the garden this month

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.

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