New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year has rung in, the naughty Christmas elves have sown all our clothes at least two sizes smaller and we’ve all got a long list of New Year’s resolutions we’re intending to keep for at least a month or two sitting at the top of our minds. Luckily that’s all you’ll need in order to reap massive rewards from at least one of your resolutions … if you have “Plant up a small organic kitchen garden so I can pick fresh, healthy and tasty herbs and veggies on demand” on your list.

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Why not make life more affordable and convenient by having ready access to fresh herbs in some spots on a sunny windowsill or in a small garden just outside the kitchen? If you only have a balcony there are some gorgeous vertical planter bags which are perfect for you. Ask your local garden centre and you shall receive.

Some herbs to whet your culinary palate:

Rocket

This peppery, nutty flavour is a winner in salads, on sandwiches, in soups and stir fries or even as the main base of a delicious sauce. You can pick fresh leaves throughout the year if you pinch off the top tip preventing it from flowering.

Rocket_Wild5319Basil

There are plenty of different types of basil but sweet basil is the most popular variety to use in cooking. Basil is incredibly popular in so many dishes but is probably best known for its use as a pesto. It compliments all types of meat and fish dishes as well as being a delicious addition to any salad.

Parsley

Valued for its taste and nutritional value, parsley is definitely best known as a garnish. When cooking it should be added just before the end to get the best flavor. This is such a versatile herb which will never go to waste if you plant it in your kitchen garden!

Basil4480Recipe: Pesto


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of lightly packed fresh herbs – both rocket and basil make a delicious pesto
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews can also be used depending on your taste and what’s available.
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, freshly crushed
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pop the herbs, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan into a food processor and chop coarsely by pulsing. While it’s still running slowing pour some the olive oil until it forms a paste and then season with the salt and pepper to taste. You don’t have to use all the oil but remember that pesto is quite oily so don’t make it too dry.

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