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Eight new ways to use herbs this summer

There are so many ways to make the most of the heavenly herbs that we have in abundance over the summer months. So next time you are left with a bunch in the fridge, try one of our new ways to use herbs this summer.

  1. Smoke

    It’s really easy to flavour your barbecue food with fresh herbs by adding them to the burning coals - the essential oils in the leaves create a fragrant smoke as you cook on the grill above. Choose woody herbs (which will stand up better to the heat) such as rosemary, thyme or sage, plunge the whole sprigs in cold water then add to the coals once they are glowing white-grey.

  2. Dress

    Fresh herbs are a welcome addition to any salad dressing. For a simple vinaigrette, blend a handful of chopped herbs with olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and a little mustard. Taste and adjust as you like - add more vinegar or lemon juice if too rich, add more oil if too sour, add more herbs, mustard or seasoning for a stronger flavour. This summer nectarine and ham salad has a lovely fresh basil dressing you could try. If you like things creamy, stir your favourite herb through ready-made mayonnaise, or make the ranch-style dressing from this meaty steak and potato salad.

  3. Sip

    Not just for eating, herbs can be added to cocktails and mocktails too. Add a grown-up twist to homemade lemonade with this rosemary citrus spritz, or try balancing this sweet strawberry cooler with a thyme-infused syrup. Thyme also works well as a garnish for this Spanish-style gin and tonic, or you could stick with a minty mojito as a refreshing summer drink.

  4. Brush

    There's no need for fancy equipment when you can use the herbs themselves as a brush and marinade all-in-one. Simply tie a bunch of herbs together, dip in olive oil then brush over veg, meat or fish as you cook it. This works great with roasts in the oven, brushing every so often during cooking, while pan-frying or barbecuing. You can also tie the herbs to a wooden spoon to give you a longer brush if easier too.

  5. Sprinkle

    Muddle fresh mint leaves and sugar in a glass until soft. Spread out onto a plate and leave in a cool, dry place overnight. Bash in a pestle and mortar until fine and scatter over desserts for a delicious treat, we love it over bowls of chocolate ice cream or this refreshing griddled watermelon recipe.

  6. Stir

    Channel your inner-Italian with fresh herbs as the star of your next pasta dinner. A classic tomato basil sauce is a great place to start, or try this healthy pea and mint spaghetti for a fresh, veggie twist on traditional basil pesto. For something a little meatier, this creamy chicken pasta recipe uses the traditional combination of chicken and tarragon for another healthy dish. 

  7. Sweeten

    Herbs can work in desserts too, with basil being the perfect example. This nectarine and basil galette is a great pud to celebrate seasonal fruits and the pastry is really easy to make and shape, no tin needed! Fill up the freezer with these tropical lollies and a tub of homemade peach and basil ice cream for refreshing treats in the sunshine. All three desserts are vegan, too, so everyone can enjoy them.

  8. Stuff

    Packing a flavour punch, fresh herbs are the perfect ingredient to use for stuffing meats, fish and veg, ensuring their aromatic flavour is fully infused as they cook. Try with your favourite herb or a mixture as with this stunning stuffed salmon recipe which uses dill, parsley and chives.