Salt of the Earth
I was looking around the garden the other evening and was amazed at how fast everything is growing ( note to Trev: Lawn! ) Lawns, what's the point of them? They waste so much precious time. Anyway, from about now until the middle of Summer the herbs will be at their best. If you don't have a garden then have a few pots of herbs by your door or on a windowsill. The value that you get from them in terms of flavour and versatility will more than repay you for any outlay.
You can start harvesting them anytime now, just taking what you need, and take the opportunity to make a batch of lovely Lemon Vinegar - add a small handful of lemon balm or lemon thyme to the lemon zest. Herb Jellies - either mixed flavours or single variety will be invaluable during the winter months for flavouring casseroles and roasts. Jar into small jars and make a variety to be most versatile.
My most favourite way to preserve the scent and flavour of fresh herbs is to make Herb Salt. Again, very useful - the most useful ingredient - in the kitchen. I keep a jar beside the hob and use it everyday. You will need:-
Around 100-150g/4-6oz mixed herbs of choice, picked over and stalks removed
500g/1lb rock salt
Don't wash the herbs unless they are very dusty. Roughly chop with scissors and then mix with the salt. Process in a food processor or liquidiser goblet in small batches until thoroughly combined.
Spread out onto silicon baking paper or greaseproof paper on tea trays or baking sheets and leave to air dry overnight. This just allows any excess moisture to evaporate.
Next day, jar the salt in convenient amounts. The salt will keep indefinitely as it will preserve both the taste and colour of the herbs. You can have great fun mixing other flavours such as garlic or lemon zest, try making single flavour varieties for specific uses - Lemon Balm with lemon zest for fish for example. Makes a great gift as well!
Makes a lovely gift if you include a salt spoon or wooden scoop
I use some small jars when packing so I can gift it later on if needed