Autumnal rewards

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of our crowdfunding rewards has reached the season that we can send it out, and it should be hitting doormats today.  Whether you are one of those people or not, I thought you might like these couple of ideas for using some of the best flavours you can grow yourself.

Lemon verbena sprigs
If not using the lemon verbena immediately, pop the cut ends in a cup of water to keep the sprigs sprightly. Two of my favourite ways of using lemon verbena:

Lemon verbena syrup – dissolve caster sugar in an equal weight of water (eg 400g each) over a moderate heat, stirring often. When fully dissolved, drop in the lemon verbena, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Use a teaspoon to taste as it infuses, and remove the leaves with a slotted spoon when the strength is as you like it. Try this with 5 parts sparkling wine, in a gin and tonic sharpened with lime juice, drizzled over cakes or ice cream

Lemon verbena gin – simple, delicious and here’s how to make it

Szechuan pepper and coriander spice mix
As well as the obvious pepperiness, Szechuan pepper leaves a distinctive gentle tingling effect on the lips and tongue. Crushing a whole peppercorn in your mouth may even leave your lips a little numb for a minute or two. It’s a special characteristic of this wonderful spice and the fresher the seed the livelier it is. Use as little or as much as you like – if in doubt, overdo it a little.

There are endless ways to use this combination, two of my favourites below:

Crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle and rub into the surface of pork, fish or vegetables with olive oil and salt before roasting. You could add fennel seed too if that takes your fancy.

Even simpler, add the mix to a pepper mill and use as you would black pepper – that tingle sensation works especially well on hot, salty chips with a cold beer. Imagine the good version of brushing your teeth then having a cigarette with an orange juice.

Happy autumn[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][products columns=”4″ orderby=”title” order=”ASC” ids=”10241, 509, 842″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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