There are many simple tips and trick for using herbs when barbecuing and outdoor entertaining. Here are a few that will not only make your meals more delicious but impress your friends with your culinary prowess.
· Make a barbecue basting brush by binding together a bunch of rosemary, thyme or lemon grass stems with string. Cut the ends to the same length to form a brush. The heat from the barbecue will release the aromatic oils in the herbs.
· Barbecue roasted chicken will have a subtle lemon flavour if you fill the cavity with handfuls of lemon balm and a knob of butter before placing on the barbecue.
· Combine sprigs of lemon thyme, dill and lemon grass and use to fill the inside of a whole fish. Wrap the fish in foil, add a touch of olive oil and bake on a barbecue or in the oven.
· Scatter chive flowers over salads or include in herb butters or vinegars.
· Adding the stunning red leaves of Rubin Basil to a bottle of vinegar will not only give it flavour but will also turn it an attractive shade of pink. Use this as the base for vinaigrette.
· Par-cel is a new herb to WA. Its’ name comes from the fact that it looks like parsley but tastes like celery. It can be continuously harvested and adds a delicious flavour to salads but is especially nice mixed through cream cheese as a dip or with butter on vegetables.
· Rosemary and lemon grass stems make wonderful skewers. Cut the ends into a point to help when threading and leave some of the foliage on the other end for decoration.
· Sprinkle rosemary over barbecue coals for an aromatic smoky flavour.
· Pots of herbs on the table or near the barbecue are both attractive and handy when eating outdoors. Combinations might be basil, parsley and dill or rosemary, thyme and sage.
· French Tarragon is highly sought after, especially to include in bottles of vinegar or chopped finely into tarragon butter. True French Tarragon should cause the tip of your tongue to tingle a little when chewed.
· Plant citronella geranium, lemon grass, rosemary and basil around the outdoor entertaining area. All of these herbs are effective insect repellents, especially on a warm evening.
· Basil stems are actually more flavoursome then the leaves so chop them up and cover with oil for a few hours and then rub over meats such as chicken or lamb to infuse the flavour.