This is the last of my mini-series on herbs. The following herbs are not necessarily used every day but definitely have their place in cooking.
- sage is a perennial herb which is really easy to grow in the garden. - sage is a typical herb used in Christmas stuffing recipes. It is very popular in England but not so in France. - it's quite sharply flavoured so it should be used in moderation as it can quickly overpower a dish. - it's high in vitamin A and beta carotene.
- bay leaves are most often sold dry in supermarkets but if you can get your hands on fresh ones, by all means buy them - bay is used to flavour soups, stews and pâtés. - you can scatter them around your pantry to get rid of meal moths or silverfish. - fresh leaves are a rich source of vitamin C.
- lavender is a perennial shrub which grows well in Mediterranean climates. - it is used for essential oils, for garden design and for culinary uses. - I once made little individual peach gelées that were flavoured lightly with lavender. I didn't think I'd like them but they were actually delicious and very subtle. A little goes a long way. If you use lavender for cooking, make sure you get it from a garden that doesn't use pesticides or from someone who sells food-grade lavender. You don't want anything that has been treated with essential oils.
- oregano is a perennial herb which grows easily in most gardens. - it is closely related to marjoram. - it is often used in Italian and Greek cooking. It is also used in Turkish, Palestinian, Lebanese and Egyptian cooking.