Herbs are the most liberating and confidence-boosting of ingredients- grow some and you feel like a proper gardener, bring some into the kitchen and you feel like a proper cook. They allow you to experiment and bring individuality to your cooking while, at the same time, anchoring you in sound culinary tradition because herbs are often responsible for those key flavours that 'make' a dish. Not only that but they are a step on the road to a more self-sufficient, homegrown, organic way of eating.
In the first part of the book, Nikki explains how to get the most from herbs. She outlines the basic choosing, picking and using guidelines. The second part is a catalogue of herbs, each with grow-your-own notes, flavour descriptions and mini-recipes. Among the forty herbs that Nikki describes are basil, bay, bergamot, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, horseradish, hyssop, marigold, mint, oregano, parsley, perilla, rocket, rosemary, sage, scented geraniums, tarragon, thyme, wild garlic, and winter savory.
Following this are sixty wonderful and adaptable recipes for everything from herb-scented cakes and biscuits to soups, stuffings and tarts, where more than one herb is, or can be, used. With an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and full-colour photographs, Herbs is a must-have book for every kitchen.
In the tenth River Cottage Handbook, Nikki Duffy shows how to grow and cook with herbs
Formerly Deputy Editor of the award-winning magazine Waitrose Food Illustrated, Nikki Duffy also wrote a weekly food column in the Guardian. She worked for three years as the River Cottage Food Editor and is now a freelance food writer.