Herbs have real magical powers! Whoever chops up fresh lemon verbena from the garden for their morning tea can at the same time run their hands over the lavender bush, as doing so awakens your senses and puts you in a good mood for the day. Stroking herbs or rubbing them briefly between our fingers releases their aroma: sage is harmonious, basil peppery and peppermint refreshing. Juniper has an intense but warm aroma while lavender has a relaxing effect. Depending on our mood, we can choose a plant in the garden that either stimulates or relaxes us.
We can also use the simplest kitchen herbs to prepare wonderful oils that last for weeks and put powerful herbal aromas onto the plate each time you use them. Lifestyle by V-ZUG chef Tanja Grandits has a simple recipe for basil oil (though you can also use it for other herbs). You need to be somewhat patient, but within a few weeks you’ll have a delicious oil that complements every salad, ripe tomato or tasty burrata with its flavour. Fresh, green in colour and so tasty that you can confidently do without vinegar in your salad dressing. It makes for a nice weekend project. To make it, blanch 100g of basil leaves briefly in hot water, then refresh in cold water so that the basil retains a nice colour. Heat 60 ml each of olive oil and sunflower oil carefully and mix finely with the basil for 5 minutes. Leave to infuse overnight then drain through a coffee filter the next day. Fill a sealable supply bottle with the mixture and store in the fridge.
All you need now is a crunchy salad, a ripe tomato and a few fresh shoots and sprouts. But there’s good news here, too, as you can grow many seeds, such as cress, radishes, beetroot and others, on cotton wool in a rectangular container you simply put onto the table for the starter. Each person cuts off however much they want as garnish.
Regardless of whether you’re in the city or countryside, this is how easy it is to serve up the garden’s powerful flavours on the dinner table!