Elephant Herbs

Dobies continue to supply seeds and plants to Michelin star chef Simon Hulstone to grow on his farm and to then serve in his Torquay restaurant, The Elephant. In addition to vegetables, fruit and edible flowers Simon grows plenty of herbs and tells us “We’ve invested in a kitchen herb grower which is in pride of place in our brasserie.”

So, what expert tips and ideas can we learn from Simon as to how to best use the Dobies herbs that we grow in our own gardens?

HerbsBasil Gecofure – “Perfect indoor pot plant. Spicy and the main ingredient for a beautiful fresh pesto.”

Basil Summer Surprise – “Vibrant purple coloured basil which we prefer to use when cooking as the colour remains the same. Put on pizzas or wrap around fish”

Basil Sweet – “Great in oriental dishes as it has a slight fragrance of lemongrass, slightly spicy on the tongue but also works well with strawberries.”

Celery Parcel – “New one to us last year, the look of parsley but the taste of celery, really fresh and works well in summer dishes, or even your Pimms!”

Herbs 3Chives – “Great raw onion flavour. Flowers are edible and pretty and can be used in salads, on fish or sprinkled on your soups.”

Cilantro – “Nice mild anise overtone. Use freshly picked on seafood and fish dishes and to lift the flavour of dull dishes. Use sparingly.”

Coriander Confetti – “Not as strong or pungent as normal coriander so you can use more. Mix through leaf salads to give a boost.”

Coriander Lemon – “Fragrant and perfect with Asian style fish dishes or chopped in couscous salads and quinoa to add a zing.”

Garlic Chives – “A great alternative to bulb garlic and not as pungent. Chop and sprinkle on BBQ meat and steaks with a little salted butter.”

Herb 1Dill – “Perfect for salted or smoked dishes. A lovely aniseed flavour which cleanses the palate.”

Lemon Grass – “Bruise or chop the lemon grass and infuse in milk and cream to make great ice-creams or mousses or add to oil and use to brush fish and meats after grilling.”

Marjoram Sweet – “Strong in flavour but amazing with olive oil and fresh tomatoes and summer vegetables. Sprinkle on risottos or pizzas once cooked.”

Mint – “Strong recognisable flavour. Great partnered with chocolate and in iced summer fruit drinks. Try adding to lamb dishes as mint pesto rather than a jelly.”

Oregano – “Tomato based sauces can’t be without oregano, they are made for each other. Sprinkle on grilled aubergines and finish with parmesan as an alternative.”

Sage – “I like to deep fry the sage leaves as it gives a great flavour and texture to our poultry and pork dishes and also neutralises any bitterness.”

Thyme – “The kitchen herb garden essential, we use thyme as the base to all of our great recipes. It’s a herb we can’t live without.”