Fresh herbs can take a dish from good to great. Whether fresh or dried, adding herbs is an easy way to increase the aroma and flavour of any dish without having to add fat, sodium or unwanted calories!
Many folk have herbs in their gardens or on their kitchen ledge but don’t use them to their full potential. They’re sometimes forgotten about and really not much is done with their herb garden. So get picking, learn about drying herbs and of course get cooking
Below, Theo Mannie, head culinary artist from Granny Mouse Country House & Spa loves experimenting with different herbs in his gastronomic creations; he is here to pay some herb tips forward for you….
THYME INFUSED PANNA COTTA WITH GIN BERRIES
- 200ml cream
- 200ml milk
- 7g gelatine powder
- 3tbsp water
- 50g honey
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2tbsp thyme sprigs
- Gin Berries
- 50ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
- 300g frozen raspberries
- 50g sugar
- 1tsp thyme
- 50g cucumber skin and seeds removed & cut into cubes
- Combine the milk, cream, honey, vanilla extract and thyme in a saucepan.
- Place this over medium heat.
- Cook until the mixture begins to boil gently and the honey has dissolved.
- In the meantime, dissolve the gelatine in the water then add this to the milk and cream.
- Remove from the heat and add the gelatine.
- Pour into a mould and chill until they are set.
- For the berries, pour the gin, frozen berries, sugar and thyme into a pan. Cook on medium-high heat stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce resembles syrup. Remove from the heat, add the cucumber and allow cooling down.
- To plate, remove the mould from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
- Shake gently to loosen up the sides before tipping onto the plate. It should come out easily. Arrange the berries and serve.
- Serves 6.
- 400g mash potato
- 300g flour
- ½tsp dried mixed herbs
- ¼tsp fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ¼ onions diced
- 30g Butter
- 300ml cream
- 50g Parmesan cheese grated
- 1tbsp chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Combine the mash, flour, eggs, mixed herbs, thyme and season to taste.
- Use a teaspoon measure to scoop the mixture and squeeze them till they are flat and flat in shape.
- Place on a tray and freeze.
- Once frozen, cook the gnocchi into salted boiling water for about 3 min or until they just begin to float.
- In the meantime make the sauce by sautéing the onions the onions and garlic in the butter on medium heat.
- Add the cream and turn the heat up to max.
- Once the cream begins to simmer, pour in the gnocchi.
- Reduce the heat to a medium-low temperature.
- Sprinkle the cheese and allow the sauce to thicken stirring from time to time.
- Just before the sauce is ready, sprinkle generously with chopped parsley.
- Season to taste
- Serves 4
BASIL PESTO LINGUINE WITH TOMATO
- 1 onion diced
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 1tbsp garlic chopped
- 500g linguine
- 100ml white wine
- 3tbsp basil pesto
- 300g cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 60g parmesan cheese grated
- 30g rocket
- salt & pepper
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling water.
- The pasta should take between 4 and 8 min dependent in the type of pasta you are using.
- In the meantime, place a large frying pan on medium high heat with half the oil.
- Add the onions and sauté for about 2 min before adding the garlic.
- Fry for a further 1 min before pouring the wine, tomato and pesto.
- Allow the wine to reduce by half before adding the cooked pasta.
- Pour in the remaining oil and reduce the heat to low.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To plate, divide the pasta into a pasta bowl.
- Sprinkle with the cheese before layering with the fresh rocket.
- Serves 3