Ideas for tarragon, mint, anise hyssop, and lovage while our herb garden is still good
There's a nip in the air now and I'm realizing that fall will be here. I'm looking at our herb garden and wondering what we should do that's new that we haven't tried yet. While we still can.
We make lots of mint and anise hyssop syrups for on fruit in the summer. We will make compound butters to freeze to preserve some of our harvest.
But what good ideas have we maybe not tried this year . . . We want to try some new things.while we still can.
All your listed herbs can be dropped into small bottles of white wine vinegar for flavored vinegars for marinades and dressings through the winter. They also make great, easy herb jellies and herb jelly recipes are usually included in pectin packages, both powdered and liquid. You can also chop the herbs, pack them in ice cube trays, top with water, freeze, then pop into labeled bags in the freezer and grab cubes of fresh tasting herbs for winter use. Your herb syrups can be canned and processed for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath for pints and half pints. They'll be shelf stable. Mint can be made into a "pesto" and frozen. Really good on lamb of course, but also good stirred into peas and/or carrots or swirled into a soup made of those veggies. All your herbs can be tied into small bundles and hung in a shady spot with good circulation until bone dry. When dry, remove leaves and package in small jars or baggies.
I've done this a couple of times over the years (and apologies for the quantities not being metric - it's an old recipe):
0.75 pint cider vinegar
1 lb sugar
2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 lb apple
2 oz raisins
8 oz mint leaves
a little salt
Peel and finely chop the onions and apple. Chop the mint. Put in a bowl with the raisins & salt.
Bring the vinegar, sugar & mustard to the simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool a little then pour into the bowl. Give everything a good mix then pack into preserving jars. Should easily last a couple of years in the cupboard.
It goes particularly well with lamb - on the side of chops or a roast or with the leftover roast lamb on a sandwich. And works well with many Bangladeshi/Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan dishes.