This is the time of year when the air temperature has risen (!) and with a few showers everything in the garden starts to get a move on. Our herbs are no exception and they are growing really fast now. So, What to do? Well apart from the odd sprig on the roast lamb or baked salmon there are many and varied ways of preserving the essence of the herbs - very simply.
Bear in mind that every part of the plant will carry the oils that give the fragrance and flavour, so don't waste any. I have already written an earlier blog on the joys of Lemon Balm, which I hope some of you are now growing. Apart from the mints, this herb seems the most generous, growing almost anywhere abundantly. It's glorious flavour makes a fantastic vinegar, with or without additional lemon zest. Or try the Lemon Balm Pesto - delicious and zesty with one of the new British Brie-type cheeses.
I have picked a variety of herbs this morning and put some of them into a glass jar and covered with white wine vinegar to make a mixed herb vinegar. It doesn't matter much what the mix is, but I only include a little of the more powerful ones, mint, rosemary for instance. Leave for a couple of weeks and then strain and bottle.