Jane's Delicious Garden
“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”
This method of storing herbs’ fresh spring flavour uses a natural preservative: salt. Herbal salt is a staple in my kitchen. I find it particularly tasty with roast vegetables or chicken. It can be added during the cooking process, where the herb flavour will permeate the food, or it can be sprinkled on afterwards to add a herbal zing to the finished dish. It is also delicious with any egg dishes. And fish too. In fact, use it wherever you would usually use ordinary salt!
Gather a colander of mixed herbs such as marjoram, oregano, rosemary, winter savoury and thyme. Wash and dry them well, using a salad spinner then dishcloths. Strip off the leaves, discarding any woody stems. Using a food processor, chop the herbs in stages until fine.
Measure the herbs and for every cup of herbs, add two cups of sea salt and half a teaspoon of lime or lemon zest. Mix together well. Using a blender, finely blend one cup of the mixture at a time until the salt is smooth and pale green. Store in airtight bottles.
ASIAN CRUNCHY COLESLAW
Once you have tasted this salad with its fresh, herby flavour, you will find it difficult to go back to coleslaw made with mayonnaise. This coleslaw is all about texture and taste. The crunchiness of the fresh vegetables is complemented by the crisp noodles. And the dressing is sublime. Mix it with the noodles and vegetables just before serving as the vermicelli will absorb the dressing and if you leave it for any length of time, it will go soggy.
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
juice of ¼ lime
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Japanese chilli
Mix all the ingredients together, whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
3 cups finely sliced red and green cabbage
5 spring onions, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
10 baby corn, sliced
30 snow peas, stringed and cut in half crossways
½ cup basil, roughly shredded
¼ cup coriander, roughly shredded
1 cup roasted cashew nuts
oil for deep-frying
rice vermicelli noodles
Mix the vegetables, herbs and cashew nuts together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot. Cut the noodles into roughly 10 cm lengths, holding them over a bowl so they don’t scatter. Test to see if it is hot enough by adding small pieces of noodle. When the noodle immediately puffs up and rises to the surface, the oil is ready. Add the cellophane noodles in small bunches (they triple in size as they fry). As they puff and rise to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Mix the vegetables and the fried noodles together, crushing the noodles lightly so they are well mixed with the vegetables. Add the dressing just before serving, tossing until thoroughly mixed.
Food lovers ahoy!
Jane's Delicious Kitchen is about making the most of seasonal food. I will be adding recipes and ingredients, plus harvesting and preserving tips and advice.
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