Growing herbs is one of the most rewarding ways to utilise your kitchen windowsill. No matter the space available, you can grow a few of your favourite herbs to enhance your cooking experience. Whether used as a garnish for an impressive meal prepared for a dinner party or as a vital part of a recipe, they have the ability to alter the flavour of your food massively.
We’ve included a few of our favourite recipes for you to try over the coming months that are sure to wow all that sample them! From light refreshments that would be wonderful at a summer barbecue to salads that would make an ideal lunchtime treat, there’s something for everyone. So, take a look and get cooking!
Lemon drizzle cake with a thyme syrup
An alternative twist on the classic lemon drizzle cake, this recipe calls for thyme to create a deliciously indulgent syrup accompaniment. The recipe below can feed ten people (although it may feed slightly less if you’re fond of a large slice!).
Preparation time - 25 minutes
Cooking time - 45 minutes
One loaf tin – 8 x 21cm
Ingredients for the cake
225g unsalted, softened butter
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
Four large eggs
The zest of one lemon, finely grated
Ingredients for the thyme syrup
The juice of one and a half lemons
85g of caster sugar
Two thyme sprigs
Step one – Before you begin, preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4, in addition to lining a loaf tin with baking paper.
Step two – With the softened butter, cut into cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. To the bowl, add the sugar before whisking until smooth and fluffy. Once the mixture appears to be done, slowly add the eggs, gradually incorporating them into the mix, one at a time, until thoroughly combined.
Step three – Sift in the flour, ensuring that there are no lumps in the pre-mixed egg, butter and sugar. Once complete, add the lemon zest before folding together with a large spoon.
Step four – Bake for 45 minutes.
Step five – While the cake is cooking, prepare the drizzle by mixing the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Continue mixing until the sugar has dissolved before adding the thyme.
Step six – Remove the cake from the oven once baked evenly. If you are unsure as to whether or not it is ready, place a skewer into the middle of the tin and see if it is clean once removed. Allow to cool.
Step seven – Using the same skewer as before, push it into the cake repeatedly, allowing the top to be covered with holes. Once this is done, cover with the drizzle mix.
Strawberry and rosemary yoghurt lollies
These refreshing lollies are exactly what you need when relaxing in your garden this summer, whether you’ve been catering to your planter boxes or simply basking in the sun. With this recipe making six, you could also invite your friends over for a barbecue with these lollies being ideal for afterwards!
Paper cups or ice lolly moulds
Skewers or ice lolly sticks
300g chopped fresh strawberries
Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Two tablespoons strawberry preserve
340g vanilla yoghurt
Two fresh rosemary sprigs
Step one – Using a small bowl, add the chopped strawberries, vinegar, preserves and rosemary before leaving to sit for 30 minutes.
Step two – Remove the rosemary from the mix.
Step three – Spoon 2 tablespoons yoghurt and one tablespoon strawberry mixture into each mould or paper cup. Repeat layers. Top moulds with holders. If using cups, top with foil and insert sticks through foil. Freeze until firm.
Quinoa salad with cucumber, tomato and herbs
This quick and simple recipe is perfect if you’re a fan of meal planning. Preparing a batch of this at the start of the week will provide you with a delicious lunch for the week and allows you to utilise any ingredients that you’ve grown at home.
250g quartered tomatoes
One large cucumber
Two small shallots
150g flat-leaf parsley
75g fresh mint leaves
Five tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Two tablespoons red wine vinegar
Step one – Mix the quinoa with two cups of water in a small saucepan. Allow the water to come to the boil before reducing the heat and cooking for seven minutes while covered.
Step two – After seven minutes, turn the heat off and allow the water to be absorbed, which should take about five minutes. Next, strain the water from the saucepan and rinse under a cold tap to chill.
Step three – As the quinoa cools for ten minutes, combine tomatoes and cucumbers before seasoning.
Step four – In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients before seasoning.