Using Herbs in Your Barbecue
WE can now finally step outside without donning wax jackets and wellies. The extended winter has kept many grandmas happy as they remind us how they’ve always told us to “ne’er cast a clout until May is out”.
This does make me wonder about the winters gone by, yet not for long as now the sun is out, it’s time to make the most of it.
You’ve probably noticed that people are little happier, more prone to smiling, and without such a weight on their shoulders. It’s amazing how much the ditching of the extra layers of clothes can free a person and the best way to celebrate is with a Barbecue.
Although crops haven’t done so well in the first part of the year, you can still use produce from your garden for that first barbecue, creating delicious smells as you take in the best of the British Summer.
Our hardiest herbs have stood up to the frosts and are now taking off at an incredible speed as they play catch-up. This is allowing many of us to once again enjoy the fruits of our labours as we bring our home-grown herbs into the kitchen.
One of the best ways to use your herbs on a barbecue is to make kebabs. This not only produces the most delicious food but is also a great activity for children, letting them get in on the action.
Here are the ideal combinations for a flavoursome barbecue
- Sage – We do always warn you about leaving sage to go woody, as it can look unsightly, yet this year it has been hard to avoid as frost has damaged many leaves. Take strong stems and use them as kebab sticks.
- Thread on pieces of chicken, slices of onion and brush with olive oil and lemon. Sage is also a great herb for burning so if you add a couple of leaves to the charcoal you can add flavour with the smoke.
- Rosemary – Rosemary is ideal for beef kebabs and the stalks are strong enough to hold the heavy cubes of meat
- Mint – Woody mint provides the perfect base for lamb kebabs; use the twigs for the food and the leaves for the Pims!
- Lavender – Many people forget about the dessert in a barbecue yet you can create some stunning puddings over the charcoal flames. This one is particularly popular with children. Thread marshmallows onto lavender stalks, or even fruit and grill. There will be no more worrying about the kebab sticks posing a danger to the eyes and the floral flavour will be a hit with kids young and old.
If you’ve found your perennial herbs have gone a little woody over the extended winter, now is the time to give them a trim. Instead of throwing away the clippings, add them to the charcoal to add extra flavour as they burn.