food, Recipes

3 herb-inspired recipes to try this autumn

Kitchen Trinity/Taverne Agency


First up in this trio of recipes is succulent lamb chops served with pita bread and a fennel salad. Then there's a contemporary update on hearty roast beef, with rosemary potatoes and a lemon-balm remoulade. And finally, there's a recipe for herb bread and two delicious spreads that are perfect for al fresco dining.

lamb chops with pita bread and a fennel salad

herb recipe

For the lamb marinade

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1T curry plant (Helichrysum italicum), roughly chopped
3T thyme, roughly chopped
11T olive oil
12 lamb chops (about 50g each)
salt and black pepper, to taste

For the pita bread

400g plain flour (plus extra for the work surface)
2t turmeric
coarse sea salt
20g fresh yeast
250ml buttermilk, lukewarm
1t granulated sugar
3T rosemary, finely chopped
3T mint, finely chopped
8T olive oil
Makes 8 pieces

For the fennel salad

2 fennel bulbs
2 tomatoes, quartered
5T olive oil
2T lemon juice
1T organic lemon zest
salt and black pepper, to taste

To make the lamb marinade, mix the garlic and herbs with 10T of oil. Place half the marinade in a baking dish and add the lamb. Spread the remaining marinade over the chops, cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.

For the pita bread, mix the flour, turmeric and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Crumble the yeast, combine with the buttermilk and sugar, and pour the mixture into the bowl. Use a hand mixer with dough hooks to knead the flour-and-yeast mixture into a smooth dough. Cover and allow to rest for an hour.

In the meantime, make the fennel salad: cut the fennel bulbs in half, cut out the tough inner cores in a wedge shape and slice finely. Mix the tomatoes with the fennel, 5T olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until serving.

Remove the meat from the fridge. Knead the dough once again and divide into eight pieces. To make pitas, roll out each piece on a floured surface to a thickness of about 1cm. Combine the rosemary and mint with 8T olive oil. Heat a griddle pan, brush each pita bread on both sides with herb oil, and cook on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn them several times and brush with the oil. Season with salt and arrange them on plates to cool.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Heat the 1T of oil in a large pan (or two medium pans) and fry the chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the pita bread and salad.

SERVES 4

herb and dijon roast beef with rosemary potatoes and a lemon-balm remoulade

herb recipe

For the roast beef

1.2kg roast beef, refrigerated
4T marjoram, finely chopped
3T oreganum, finely chopped
4T lovage, finely chopped
2T rosemary, finely chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste
2½T Dijon mustard

For the remoulade

2 medium eggs
2 medium extra-fresh egg yolks
250ml sunflower oil
1T crème fraîche
50g gherkins in brine
2T capers
1t sweet paprika powder
4T lemon balm, finely chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste

For the potatoes

700g small, waxy potatoes
2T olive oil
2T rosemary, finely chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and remove the meat from the fridge. Cut the fat off the meat and render in a pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Pat the beef dry and sear it in the fat on all sides, then remove it from the pan and place on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper, and spread 2T of mustard on the surface, including the sides. Press half of the finely chopped herbs lightly onto the mustard. Roast the meat on the middle rack of the oven for about 25 minutes until medium (internal temperature 55–59°C). Meanwhile, cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes in salted water. Drain them, allow to cool a little, then peel while still warm and allow to cool further.

Meanwhile, for the remoulade, boil two eggs for 10 minutes, refresh and peel. Mix the fresh egg yolks with the remaining ½T mustard and a pinch of salt. Using a whisk, stir in a tablespoon of sunflower oil, drop by drop. Add the remaining oil in a thin trickle, while stirring briskly. Mix in the crème fraîche to make a mayonnaise. Finely chop the gherkins, capers and hard-boiled eggs and mix, along with a tablespoon of pickle brine and the paprika powder, into the mayonnaise. Stir in the lemon balm and season with salt and pepper. Cover the remoulade and refrigerate.

Once the meat is done, remove it from the oven, wrap it in tin foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Heat 2T olive oil in a pan and fry the cooled potatoes on medium heat for about 8 minutes until crunchy. (Add the rosemary after 6 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.) Sprinkle the remaining chopped herbs on the meat, and serve with the potatoes and remoulade.

SERVES 4

herb bread and two spreads

herb recipe

For the herb bread

500g spelt flour (plus extra for the work surface and baking tin)
coarse sea salt
20g fresh yeast
2t granulated sugar
200ml milk, lukewarm
3 medium egg yolks
200g soft butter (plus some extra for the baking tin)
10T flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2T oreganum, finely chopped
5T thyme, finely chopped
2T sage, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

In a bowl, mix the flour with half a teaspoon of salt and make a well in the centre. Crumble the yeast, combine with the sugar and 5T of milk, and pour the yeast mixture into the well. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes until bubbles appear. Add the remaining milk, egg yolk and 100g of butter. Using a hand mixer with dough hooks, knead well until a smooth dough forms. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and allow to rest for 60 minutes.

Knead the dough once more. On a floured surface, roll it out to a thickness of 1cm and spread the remaining 100g butter evenly over it. Scatter the chopped herbs and garlic on top and season with salt. Cut the dough into squares (7x7cm each). Grease a 30cm-long loaf tin with butter and dust with flour. In layers, place the pieces of dough loosely and upright into the tin, while holding the pieces in the tin with one hand to prevent them from falling over. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C in a fan-assisted oven). Bake the bread on the second-lowest rack of the oven for 50 minutes. If the top becomes too dark, cover it with tin foil. Allow the bread to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before serving with an Appenzeller-style spread or a lemony cream cheese and herb spread (see below).

MAKES 1 LOAF

For an Appenzeller-style spread

100g young Appenzeller cheese, finely grated (Fontina or Emmentaler are good substitutes)
30g gherkins, finely chopped
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
3T flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2T dill, finely chopped
150g crème fraîche
2t sweet paprika powder
salt and black pepper, to taste
3t fried, chopped onions

Combine the cheese, gherkins, shallot, parsley and dill with the crème fraîche and paprika powder, and mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve in a small bowl with the onions sprinkled over.

For a lemony cream cheese and herb spread

250g cream cheese
50g soft butter
3T basil Piccolino (Ocimum basilicum), finely chopped
2t lemon zest (organic)
2T lemon juice
3T garlic chives, cut into small rings
salt and black pepper, to taste

Whisk the cream cheese with the butter until smooth. Stir in the basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and chives. Season with salt and pepper.

For more dishes that make herbs the star, check out the April 2017 issue of House and Leisure.