Sara Dixon from Hawkwell Herbs has come to talk to us about cooking with herbs, her monthly slot will include some herby recipes, plus where to find her stall and how to order or buy…
It’s a cold January, so why a salad? We need taste still, we need to feel we are indulging still, but, let’s face it, we put ourselves under pressure to go ‘healthy’ at the beginning of the year. This recipe has taste, indulgence AND health.
What do you need?
Oil – oil of your choice – try using flavoured oils if you have any – try indulging with a nut oil if you are able.
Onion – I like to use red onions for colour AND strong flavour. Chop your onion quite small after peeling.
Bulghur wheat or any other grain of your choice – as long as it is capable of filling you up. You can even use beans if you prefer.
Herbs of your choice – I tend to go with whatever I have the most of! I have used Parsley, which survives cold, frost, snow… and I have gone for the flat leaved variety which I prefer to the curly, I’m using Mint and have gone for Moroccan as it has a punchy taste but try any flavour mint that you have, and Land Cress which, if you haven’t tried it, is peppery.
Preparation: Chop the herb leaves for the dish itself but RETAIN the stalks as well (see below)
- Cook your chosen grain/beans according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you are going with the Bulghur Wheat, it is one third wheat to two thirds water (in volume), bring to the boil, simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Drain any excess moisture away.
- Whilst cooking your grain/beans, start to gently fry your onion in the oil until it goes soft. This is when the natural sugars develop too. Which helps if you crave that still-remembered Christmas sugar hit!
- The amount of oil you add is up to you but this is a dish which involves Bulghur Wheat which soaks up the oil very nicely as part of the final mixing.
- Once the onion begins to go soft, add your herbs. Turn the heat right down and gently stir them until they too begin to wilt. I like some crunch to my herbs as well as rawness of flavour but if you are using herbs which need some cooking, stir them for longer.
- Then add your Bulghur Wheat/grains/beans to the herb mix and mix it all together well.
- Eat hot or cold.
Did you know?
Retain the stalks of herbs (unless they are used in the dish itself) as they still have a use! I use them in stock, stews, casseroles, even herbal teas/tisanes as they often hold a great deal of flavour.
Where can you find Hawkwell Herbs this month?
Sunday 6th January – Olney Farmers’ Market
Saturday 12th January – Oundle Farmers’ Market
Saturday 26th January – Ely Farmers’ Market.
PLUS Sara delivers herbs in ‘HerbBella the Van’ to Loyalty Card customers on Mondays and Fridays to keep everybody topped up in between markets.
Special events this month:
Monday 7th January – a healthy afternoon tea party hosted with AmbaScarlett https://www.facebook.com/events/1611948945572240/
Sunday 27th January – Hanslope Vegan Winter Fair https://www.facebook.com/events/728024497577611/
Herb of the month for January
Another themed month! A variety of herbs to help you make tasty herbal teas/tisanes, as well as herbs to pep up a winter salad. As always, a Cooking Ideas booklet comes with each herb. All available at the Farmers’ Markets.