Summer is undoubtedly the perfect season to add some herbs to our meals, writes chef Amanda Manyatshe.
Being in season, these little additions to your drinks and meals not only pack a punch of flavour and nutritional benefits but are pocket-friendly too. “I love these herbs as they are easy to find – be it at the shops or foraged in your garden or the veld,” says Manyatshe.
Mint is always a winner. From savoury dishes to refreshing iced drinks, mint lends a flavour that works very well when you want to lift your dishes.
These bursts of summer add such a beautiful pop of colour to salads or even as decor for cakes. You can place them in empty ice trays and then fill water and freeze – the perfect accompaniment to your hot summer day drinks.
A herb you may have already growing in your garden and you didn’t know it! The entire plant is edible from the flowers to the roots. Mind you the roots are quite pungent so you won’t need as much as you would with regular garlic. The leaves can be chopped and used as you would chives while the flowers make wonderful garnish or added to a salad.
This fragrant herb is used in much the same way as thyme where you strip the leaves and use them. It can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes.
What one may consider a weed, this little plant can be found in your garden. It can be confused with clovers, but wood sorrel has heart-shaped leaves. It has a sour, lemony taste and is a great addition to salads to add a little zing.
To celebrate the long summer days ahead and the need for something refreshing on those days, here is an easy recipe for an iced tea that celebrates local flavours as well as a delicious spatchcock chicken with wild garlic. Try your hand at these new recipes that incorporate what might become your favourite additions to your summer herbs.
Roasted spatchcock chicken with wild garlic
2 cups fresh wild garlic
1 red chilli
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 whole chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180℃. Place foil in a roasting dish. Set aside.
- Using a tick blender, blitza together the fresh wild garlic, chilli, lemon juice, olive oil and melted butter. Set aside.
- Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using kitchen scissors, cut the chicken from either side of the back bone and then remove the bone.
- Turn the chicken over and flatten it with the palms of your hand. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken and allow it to marinade for 30 minutes.
- Roast the chicken for 45 minutes until golden brown.Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with a salad,
Honeybush and rooibos iced tea
8 cups of water, divided
6 Honeybush and Rooibos teabags
⅓ cup sugar, optional (to sweeten)
Nasturtium flowers, in ice
Confetti Bush, in ice
- In a medium pot, add half of the water and allow it to come to the boil then remove from the heat. Add the tea bags and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. If you are adding the sugar, add it now and stir until dissolved.
- Add the remaining water and then chill the mixture – this should take about an hour.
- Pour the iced tea into a jug and garnish with the ice, mint and sliced lemon before serving.