I started growing my own herbs in old wine barrels about 2 years ago. They are an inspiration to all our visitors. The barrels overflow with rosemary, a variety of different mints, Vietnamese coriander, curry leaves, chives, basil, origanum, scented geranium and sage.
We plant the base of the spring onions with their tiny roots into barrels and the spring onions shoot up and can be used again and again. Towards the end of summer we start to harvest the herbs and fill the freezer with finely chopped herbs frozen in ice trays and an array of frozen pestos. We decorate the kitchen with glasses filled with cut herbs, refresh our drinking water with mint and preserve chopped chilli in oil in the fridge. I love to throw handfuls of freshly picked herbs into my food when cooking and add chopped herbs to all our salads.
Here’s a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional potato salad – Baby Potato Salad with Garden Peas & Mint
Boil 1kg of baby potatoes in their jackets until cooked through. Pour off the water and as soon as you can stand the heat cut the potatoes in half. Put the potatoes into a dish and pour about 150ml of olive oil dressing over the potatoes – they need to be coated with the dressing – and leave to cool. All the salad dressing will be absorbed by the warm potatoes. Cook 2 cups of peas and add to the potatoes. Finely chop two red onions and mint or a combination of mint and other fresh herbs and mix into the potato salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature. Wonderful if served the next day.
Serves 6 people
About our chef:
Clare Bok has her own catering company in Cape Town, Appetite, and is a regular contributor to many magazines. She has pleased the palettes of the likes of Richard Branson, Prince Charles, Lance Armstrong and Christina Aguilera. www.appetitecatering.co.za.