No kitchen should be without the heady, aromatic flavour of thyme. There are many different varieties, both cultivated and wild, with flavours of mint, caraway, lemon, and stronger varieties that taste more akin to oregano.
Price is per Bunch
Pick fresh basil leaves from their stalks and scatter whole, or roughly torn, over dishes.
Fresh cut basil should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper, placed in a perforated bag and stored in the fridge – it will last a day or two. Potted basil should be kept in a sunny but sheltered place (a windowsill is ideal) and watered regularly (but not too much, as that will dilute the flavour). As you pick leaves from it, more will grow, and the plant should last several months.
Pounded in a pestle and mortar or food processer with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil to make pesto; added to tomato-based pasta sauces; combined with sliced mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil for a classic Caprese salad; chopped and beaten into softened butter, then melted over steaks, roast chicken, or crushed boiled new potatoes.
Price is per Bunch
Chervil is an annual herb that looks similar to flat leaf parsley but with a finer stem and more delicate, almost wilting leaves.
It has a faint aniseed flavour and is one of the herbs used to make up the French herb mixture fines herbes. It is also reputed to aid digestion when turned into a tea
Chilli – available in red or green, approximate weight 100g
To remove the pith and seed from a fresh chilli, wash it, slice lengthways in two, then cut off the stalk. Using the tip of a knife, cut way the white pith and the harder white core, keeping the knife close to the surface of the flesh. Then scrape out the seeds and discard, before slicing or dicing the chilli, as required. As capsaicin irritates the skin, some people like to wear gloves to do this job. If not, scrub your hands thoroughly afterwards and remember not to touch your face or eyes – even if you’ve scrubbed well, it may well still burn.
£1.43The smallest and most delicate member of the onion family, chives are a popular herb used in European cookery. They have long, thin green blades that are hollow inside. They have a mild, grassy flavour similar to baby spring onions or young leeks. There is also an Asian variety of chive called Chinese chives, garlic chives or kuchai.