this lovely article by Alys Fowler. In it, she ponders what she would grow if she didn't have a garden - her desert island plants, as it were. This sparked my interest as I've had to come at it from the opposite angle - namely, "I don't have a garden so what can I grow?"
Both of us, it seems, have decided that we can't live without the wonders that are herbs. For Alys, the essentials are mint, coriander and lemon thyme. These are a great resource when it comes to Mediterranean and Eastern cooking; the scent of lemon thyme and mint remind me of Greek holidays while fresh and dried coriander feature in all of my Indian curries and oriental dishes.
My driveway garden lives in pots and includes a motley crew of rosemary, sage and thyme as well as a tub of lemongrass (transplanted from a colleagues garden for tea) and a few sprigs of parsley that have lived on through the winter. My window sills are currently home to basil and oregano seedlings as well as some baby lettuces (another present from a colleague). Next on my list are:
- mint: wonderful in a warm aubergine salad, a perfect pairing with roasted lamb and essential in tzaziki.
- coriander: fantastic on chilli con carne, brilliant blitzed into guacamole and delicious in dhal.
- tarragon: tasty in a sauce for chicken, marvellous when paired with mushrooms and a scrumptious flavour with salmon.
- dill: fabulous with fish, rather lovely in ratatouille and stirred into a herb mayonnaise.
With herbs on my mind, I happened upon an advert in a cookery magazine which hit the mark. The image above is from a Lurpak advert. "Kings of the Kitchen", how apt! Turns out that Lurpak are giving away seeds with packs of Lurpak spreadable. Whether you like their margarine or not, their website gives some great information on growing and cooking herbs. How about keeping your old margarine or yoghurt tubs, popping a few holes in the bottom and filling it with compost to grow your herbs in?