A few years ago or more I joined Drachenwald Herbalists. What I don’t know then was my small herb garden was going to play a huge part in how I cook in the SCA. I am a cook that like the food itself do the talking, less is more and I try to have no more than five to six ingredients in any given dish. You may argue that is very simplistic cooking, but I live in Ireland, the meat is grassed fed, the eggs are free ranged, Ireland is surrounded by water and my local fishmonger has delivery of fresh fish daily. I live in the country side in the midlands of Ireland, the air is good and the food tastes good. So how do I add flavour, that’s easy, I use herbs. Herbs have been cultivated by the monks and hermits of Ireland whether for medicinal or culinary purposes. The forager has gathered water cress with a peppery taste, wild garlic, wild mustard, nettle, dandelion leaves to add taste and substance to the food. Now I started planting the usual herbs of parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint. Then I got my hands on some seeds, manage to get six lovage plants to grow, plot of chives and I mean a plot of chives, borage, burnet, rue. I am aware of medical issues concerning herbs in my garden. My garden then took on a permaculture look, so if sowing a plant or flowers, the question is can I eat it, so nasturtiums, Viola,calendulas of all kinds, chamomile’s becomes the first choices. So sitting on my table tonight is a herb pack that I hope to sow a planter or two for some friend to get them started, and share a lovage plant or two, lovage is my absolute favourite along with wild garlic. I will share a secret
The secret is lovage is a fantastic herb in any vegetable or meat pottage, soups. A word of warning 2- 3 leaves is really enough, do not be tempted to add anymore than that.
You too can have a fresh compound salad as in anything I can find in my small but varied herb garden. My grandmother planted the cabbages, lettuces, spring onion among the flowers so my planters can be quiet interesting. In my part of the world it’s planting time, but I have herbs all year round to add flavour to the food I am making.Another time I will provide a list but my constant go to is parsley, chives, lovage for not so Irish dishes, wild garlic, nasturtium I love the peppery taste. Find the herbs you like and most of all have fun
This just happens to be a pack I found in my shed at the weekend.