As the days get longer, so does the list of fresh ingredients! So how can we make good use of our gardens? We selected some seasonal recipes which use common culinary herbs to add aromatic flavour to food dishes. Let our springtime recipe selection take you to the new season with herby, healthy, and delicious food!
Herby Lamb Burger with Beetroot Mayo
A classic flavour combination of lamb and mint, with contrasting beetroot relish! What makes this dish even more attractive is the fact that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare!
Serves 4 Prep 10 mins/ Cook 15 mins
400g lamb mince
1 small red onion, ½ grated, ½ thinly sliced
handful parsley, roughly chopped
handful mint, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 cooked beetroots, finely chopped
4 bread rolls
couple handfuls watercress
- Mix the lamb, grated onion and herbs in a bowl with some seasoning, then divide the mix into 4 and shape into burgers.
- Heat a griddle pan until hot, rub the burgers with oil, and cook for 5-6 mins on each side, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise and beetroot with some seasoning. Fill the bread rolls with watercress, a burger, a dollop of beetroot mayo and a few onion slices. Serve immediately.
490 kcalories, protein 25g, carbohydrate 25g, fat 32 g, saturated fat 9g, fibre 2g, sugar 4g, salt 1.1 g
(Recipe from BBC Good Food magazine, March 2012/ http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1959658/)
Spring Veggie Casserole with Little Herb Dumplings
A vegetarian supper full of fresh flavours, perfect for sharing with friends!
Serves 6 Prep 45 mins – 2hrs
For the dumplings:
100g self-rising flour
50g butter at room temperature, cut in pieces
50g mature cheddar, finely grated
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
For the casserole
3 tbsp light olive oil
8 shallots, peeled and cut in half lengthways
250g small new potatoes, cut int half
3 peeled garlic cloves, cut in half lengthways
200g baby carrots, scraped but left whole
2-3 fennel bulbs (about 500g total weight), each cut into 8 wedges
600ml boiling vegetable stock (Marigold Swiss bouillion is good)
300g fruity white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
pinch of muscovado sugar, light or dark
½ tsp light soy sauce
200g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large
200g baby courgettes, each cut into 4 chunks, or 2 courgettes cut in sticks
2 tsp cornflour
½ fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp each snipped chives and chopped parsley
- To make the dumplings, rub the flour and butter together so it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to season and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or flameproof casserole (about 3.5 litres) over a high-ish heat, then throw in the halved shallots. Fry for 2-3 minutes till beginning to soften and turn brown and gold in places. Now still working on quite a high heat, add the potatoes and watch for the same effect, about 5-7 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and generally moving the pan about. Add the garlic, carrots, and fennel, allowing a couple of minutes between each so they get a chance to release their flavours. Pour in the stock along with most of the wine, then stir in the sugar and soy sauce and return to the boil. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. If preparing ahead make up to the end of step 2, cool and chill for up to five hours. About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, bring back to the boil, and continue with step 3.
- Stir about 2 tbsp of water into the dumpling mixture to form a soft dough. Break off small pieces to make 20-25 dumplings, then shape into rounds about the size of a cherry tomato. Add the green beans and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and courgettes. Stir the cornflour into the remaining wine until it has dissolved, then stir into the casserole until it thickens. Bring to the boil, stir well then gently place the dumplings on top. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes till the dumplings have risen, and the stew is rich and thick and the vegetables deliciously tender. Check the seasoning.
- Mix the chilli and herbs together in a small bowl and scatter on top of the casserole.
335 kcalories, protein 10g, carbohydrate 32g, fat 17 g, saturated fat 7g, fibre 6g, sugar 0.04g, salt 0.94 g
(Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2003/ http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3291/)
Tell us your favourite culinary herbs and how you like to use them!
Want to know more about the herbs used in the above recipes? Come visit the award-winning herb garden at the Geffrye Museum, which has more than 170 different herbs! As of April 1st the herb garden and period gardens are now open!