Posts Tagged With: Herbs

Tom yum soup with finger limes

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The finger lime is a unique and ancient Australian native – citrus australasica – found in the wild around the rainforest areas of SE Queensland and the northern rivers region of New South Wales. Inside the finger lime’s skin are hundreds of juice filled pearls or ‘lime caviar’ that burst in the mouth with a rare and exciting explosion of flavour. The finger lime’s lime caviar is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. The colour varies according to the variety: it can be opaque, yellow, green, pink or red.

Foraged bush food: finger limes
Recipe source: Melissa Moore
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Kettle
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Paper towel
  • Salad spinner
  • Measures – tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Mixing bowls – selection
  • Serving bowls
  • Ladle

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 litres water
  • A clove of garlic
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • A small handful assorted mushrooms
  • A head of bok choi
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon
  • 1 quantity tom yum paste (see recipe)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • A small handful finger limes

What to do:

  1. Make the paste recipe first (see separate tom yum paste recipe).
  2. Fill the kettle to the 1.5 litre mark and set it to boil.
  3. Peel and finely chop the clove of garlic.
  4. Cut or strip the leaves from the lemongrass (reserving the leaves for another time) and wash the stalks. Chop them into 10cm lengths and bash lightly.
  5. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a piece of paper towel, then slice them into very thin slices.
  6. Wash the bok choi, separating out the leaves and cleaning, and slice into thin strips.
  7. Cut the lime into quarters.
  8. Pour the hot water into the large saucepan and add the bouillon. Bring back to the boil and stir in all the tom yum paste and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in the lemongrass batons and whole kaffir lime leaves.
  10. Mix in the mushrooms and sliced bok choi. Add the fish sauce if using and a squeeze of the lime quarters and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  11. Wash and spin the coriander and basil dry, then finely chop.
  12. Remove from heat, sprinkle in the chopped coriander and ladle into bowls.
  13. Cut the finger limes in half and squeeze out the little globes into bowls as garnish.

Notes: What do finger limes look like? What is inside a finger lime?

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Popping corn with two flavours

 

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We made this recipe in my first lesson back in 2011, and just recently grew another crop of the little hard cobs.

Fresh from the garden: dried popcorn cob, rosemary, thyme
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • 2 tea towels
  • A large sieve
  • 2 large saucepans with lids
  • A small saucepan
  • Tongs
  • Large spoon
  • 8 small serving bowls

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons Rice Bran oil
  • 3 cobs popping corn
  • A few sprigs rosemary
  • A few sprigs thyme
  • 50g butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

What to do:

  1. Rub corncobs all over with a tea towel to remove any dust.
  2. Wash & carefully dry the herb sprigs.
  3. Pick off each corn kernel from the husk and place in the sieve. Once all removed, shake the sieve a little to dislodge the crispy end bits.
  4. Pour half the oil into each saucepan and add herb sprigs to one.
  5. Heat herbs until the oil simmers for five minutes to infuse the oil. Remove herbs.
  6. Turn heat up, add half the corn to each saucepan and immediately put lid on.
  7. Melt the butter with the spices, sugar and half the salt in the smaller saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. After a minute the corn should start popping, turn heat down and wait until the noise almost stops. Then shake the saucepan while holding lid down to dislodge any tricky pieces.
  9. Only lift the lid when all popping has stopped! Then, turn heat off and lift the lid.
  10. To the herb popcorn: sprinkle the other half of the salt in, give a good stir and pour out into four small bowls.
  11. To the plain popcorn: pour over the spiced butter, stir well and pour into remaining four bowls.

Notes: What is the difference between popping corn and sweetcorn? What does savoury mean? Do you think popcorn is an old food or a modern food?

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Rosemary and tomato focaccia

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We love preparing dough, and this soft focaccia studded with tomatoes and rosemary is fantastic as part of an antipasto plate or with a hearty Italian-style soup. In class we use the previous class’s dough, and then make the new dough for the next class.

From the garden: tomatoes, rosemary
Recipe source: dough from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

·       Bowls – small, med, flat small

  • Measures – jug, teaspoon, tablespoon
  • Scales
  • Stand mixer & dough hook
  • Pastry brush
  • 20 x 30cm Swiss roll pan
  • Clean tea towel
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Serving plates
Ingredients:

For the topping:

·       Salt flakes

  • 1 large sprig of rosemary

·       A cup of cherry tomatoes

For the magic dough:

·       250g plain white flour

·       250g strong white flour

·       1½ level teaspoons fine sea salt

·       1 teaspoon instant dried yeast

·       1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra for oiling

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

For the focaccia:

  1. Brush the pan with 2 teaspoons of oil. Punch down the centre of the dough with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes or until dough is elastic and has returned to its original size. Press into the prepared pan. Cover with the clean tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 20 minutes or until doubled in height.
  2. Meanwhile wash the rosemary & pat dry and pick the leaves from the stalks.
  3. Wash the tomatoes but leave any sepals on, and carefully dry on a piece of paper towel.
  4. Use your finger to press dimples into the dough. Brush with remaining oil and sprinkle over the rosemary and a sprinkle of salt. Gently press the tomatoes into the dough.
  5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and the focaccia sounds hollow when tapped on base. Serve warm or at room temperature, carved into thin slices.
  6. While the focaccia is cooking you can make the dough for the next class before cleaning up!

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Now make the magic dough for the next class:

  1. Put the two flours into the bowl of the stand mixer with the salt and yeast. Mix well using the dough hook. Add the oil and 325ml warm water and mix to a rough dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes, until smooth. This is quite a loose and sticky dough, which is just as it should be – you get better-textured bread this way – so try not to add too much flour if you can help it, it will become less sticky as you knead.
  2. Trickle a little oil into a clean bowl, add the kneaded dough and turn it in the oil so that the bottom is covered with a light film. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – at least an hour, probably closer to two.

 Notes: What is process of doubling the dough in size called? What is a tomato sepal?

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Koosa Ma Laban

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Taking inspiration from the Middle East, this is a dish called Koosa ma Laban and is a delicious zucchini dip for crunchy veggies or garlicky flatbreads.

Fresh from the garden: cucumber, garlic, ginger
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on thekitchn.com
Serves: 8 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Measures: cup, tablespoon
  • Frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Salad spinner
  • Microplane zester
  • Olive pitter
  • Food processor
  • Flat bowls to serve

 

Ingredients:

·       2 large zucchini

·       2 cloves of garlic

·       3 tablespoons olive oil

·       1 cup Greek yogurt or labneh

·       A handful of mint

·       A lemon

·       Flaked salt and pepper

·       4 green olives

What to do:

  • Wash the zucchini, then slice lengthwise and cut into 1cm half-moons. Smash the garlic cloves, peel the skin off and finely chop.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle zucchini slices with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until both sides are nicely browned. Add the garlic in the last minute, then remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.
  • Wash the mint, spin dry, pick off the leaves and chop finely to yield about 2 tablespoons worth. Wash the lemon, dry it and zest the yellow part of the skin only. Pit the olives (use the pitter or you can squash them on a chopping board) and cut in half.
  • Once zucchini have cooled, place in a food processor. Add the mint and lemon zest (reserving a bit of both for garnish), a pinch of salt, pepper and yogurt. Pulse until pureed.
  • Spread dip onto a serving plate, dot on the olive halves, drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with reserved mint and lemon zest.
  • Serve with flat breads or sliced carrot, cucumber or radish.

 Notes: What is labneh? How does an olive pitter work? What other Middle Eastern dishes do you know?

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Insalata Caprese

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This famous salad from Italy is beautiful in its simplicity, using up all the last of the lovely summer tomatoes and juicy basil and nasturtium leaves.

Fresh from the garden: rocket, baby spinach, young nasturtium leaves, tomatoes, basil
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 28 tastes

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowls – large, med, small
  • Salad spinner
  • Chopping board & knives
  • Paper towel
  • Tea towel
  • Fork or whisk
  • Tongs
  • Serving bowls

 

Ingredients:

  • A large handful small rocket leaves
  • Some young nasturtium leaves
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A few handfuls little tomatoes
  • 1 tub bocconcini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. Wash the leaves very well in a large bowl and several changes of cold water. Dry the leaves very gently in the salad spinner. Repeat this process, working in small batches, until all the leaves and basil (kept separate) have been dried.
  2. Lay out a tea towel and line it with paper towel. Spread the dried leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the refrigerator until needed. Rinse and dry the bowl well.
  3. Peel the garlic and slice in two squashing one half slightly. Into one bowl put this half, tear the basil and drop in, pour in a glug of olive oil and sprinkle some salt. Tear each bocconcini into two and add, then chop each tomato into two – or chunks if larger – and also place these in, turning a few times.
  4. To make the dressing, rub the other garlic half over the inside of the bowl and drizzle ½ cup olive oil and a little stream of balsamic vinegar over. Lightly whisk dressing.
  5. Unwrap the parcel of salad leaves & tip them into the bowl. Gently turn the leaves in the dressing using your hands or tongs
  6. Use the salad servers to transfer the dressed leaves to the serving bowls, then scoop up tomato/ basil/ bocconcini mixture (discarding garlic half) and pop on top of each, making sure to toss well before serving immediately. 

Notes: What is bocconcini and what does it mean?

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Paul’s tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil

My uncle Paul has the greenest thumbs I know. He has a big sunny backyard and grows the best veggies – kilos of broad beans, basket-loads of lemons, buckets of zucchini, tubs of  chillies, all different ones, and right now, loads and loads of beautiful tomatoes. We’ve been eating them sliced up every morning for brekky, my aunt Rose and I, on sourdough toast, with lots of unsalted butter and a smear of Promite, and the necessary black pepper and grind of salt…

He gave me some to bring back home after the holidays so I set straight to chopping them up for the simplest but most wonderful salad known to man or woman:

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Paul’s tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella and basil

Ingredients:

  • A large bowl of tomatoes, ideally different shapes and sizes and even colours if you’ve got them!
  • A ball of buffalo mozzarella in a  tub
  • A bunch of basil
  • Some really great olive oil (or at least as fresh as you can get!)
  • Black pepper in a mill

What to do:

  1. Wash and dry the tomatoes and chop into good chunks, discarding any hard cores and place in a  decent shallow bowl.
  2. Open the mozzarella and drain the ball. Pull apart large chunks of the cheese and dot over the tomatoes.
  3. Wash and spin dry the basil leaves then  tear into small pieces and scatter over the salad.
  4. Drizzle over the best olive oil that you can reach. Grind over a few twists of black pepper. Let the salad sit for 20 minutes for the flavours to sink in.
  5. Eat! Crusty bread is great to mop it all up…

As always, the quality of the stuff you use is important, especially when you’re only using so few ingredients. Buffalo mozzarella is expensive but by golly it’s delicious, and perfect for the sweet and acidic brilliance of the home-grown tomatoes. I was also happy to find some Nolan’s Road ‘delicate’ olive oil in the cupboard to use, that stuff’s so good you could drink it neat. Hope you can get in to some soon…

Happy New Year everybody!

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Spiced grains, almonds, labne and currants

Our friend Caroline had been to Drake Eatery in Bondi and said you MUST go there and have the grain and seed side dish. She said you probably wouldn’t order it if you didn’t know about it, so please order it and tell me what you think… So of course we did, and we loved it, and now order it every time we go there because it’s such a great place, and the salad is a total winner.

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So I’ve been wondering for ages how to replicate it.

We were invited to a friend’s birthday at his home two days ago on the 1st January (HB PH!) and I suggested I would bring a salad. What a perfect salad to bring, I thought, if I could find out what they put in it? So I consulted the oracle and found, several pages in, a salad recipe that sounded EXACTLY like the one I was looking for! So there it was, on the Food To Love website, brought to you by the Australian Women’s Weekly! So no disrespect to Drake, but I reckon this is where they got their idea…

Mediterranean Grain Salad aka Drake’s spiced grains, almonds, labne and currants

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup french-style small green lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 cup (280g) labne
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey

Steps

  1. Wash the rice and lentils, separately, drain and then cook in large saucepans of boiling salted water for 20 minutes or until tender, then drain and rinse well in cold water.
  2. Wash the quinoa and drain, and then tip in to a small saucepan with the cup of water and a sprinkle of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover for 10 minutes until tender. Drain.
  3. Roast pepitas, sunflower seeds and pinenuts together on an oven tray (keep the cumin seeds and flaked almonds all separate on separate pieces of foil), in a 180°C oven for 8 minutes, stirring half way through.
  4. Peel the onion and finely chop. Squeeze lemon juice. Wash the herbs, dry them and chop the leaves.
  5. Combine the cooked rice, lentils and quinoa in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, pepitas, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, currants, herbs, juice and the olive oil and stir well.
  6. Stir the cumin seeds into labne in a small bowl.
  7. To serve, top salad with spoonfuls of labne, drizzle with honey and scatter with the flaked almonds. (At school we would omit the almonds).

Tips

Labne is drained yoghurt. You can make it at home, straining Greek yoghurt through cheesecloth in the fridge for 3 days, or you can buy it at Kemeny’s or Harris Farm like I do!

 

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Rosemary shortbread

Allison was our gardener before Byron and she suggested this recipe to me. I was sceptical at first but lo! she brought some in that she had made and they were deeeeeelish! The rosemary bizarrely makes the biscuits taste of aromatic spices like cinnamon and ginger!

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Fresh from the garden: rosemary
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Yvette Van Boven in Home Made
Serves: 8 at home or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Paper towel
  • Baking paper
  • Measures: tablespoon
  • Scales
  • Medium baking tray
  • KitchenAid stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Bowls – big, med, small
  • Butter knife and fork
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Cellophane bags and ribbon if needed
Ingredients:

  • 150g butter at room temperature
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • A medium branch of rosemary with extra sprigs to garnish

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Wash the rosemary and wipe dry. Strip the needles from the medium branch and finely chop. You will need about 2 tablespoons worth.
  3. Line the baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  4. Beat the butter and the sugar and honey into a creamy mass. Stir in the flour, with the rosemary and salt. Do not beat too long, it just has to be well blended. Knead a few times on a countertop dusted with flour until it turns into a smooth dough ball.
  5. Press the dough into the baking tray and even out. Cut the raw slab into small equal fingers with the edge of the butter knife.
  6. Prick holes in the dough with a fork and garnish each wedge with a small sprig of rosemary.
  7. Bake the shortbread in the oven for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Leave to cool in the dish for 10 minutes and then carefully remove it. You can now break it along the scored lines and leave to cool further.
  8. And serve! Or if giving as presents, slip into cellophane bags when cold and tie with ribbon. 

Notes: What other dishes can you use rosemary in? Why should we not beat the ingredients for too long? What other flavourings could you use?

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End of Year salad

This is where we clean out the garden in preparation for the big break… what better to do than throw it all in together?

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Fresh from the garden: all the last veggies of the year…
Recipe source: Melissa

Equipment:

  • Mortar and pestle
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measures: 1/3 cup, teaspoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Scissors
  • Paper towel
  • 2 baking trays
  • Bowls – 2 big, med, 4 small
  • Salad spinner
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • A deep-sided frying pan
  • Slotted spoon

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
  • Salad leaves
  • Bok choy or tatsoi
  • Tomatoes
  • 4 eggs

Herby vinaigrette dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A small handful mixed herbs: tarragon, marjoram, thyme, chives, salad burnet

What to do:

  1. For the dressing: Peel the garlic clove and put it in the mortar with a large pinch of salt. Gently pound to a paste. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the mortar (without pips) then stir the lot with the teaspoon and scrape it into the large bowl. Stir in the oil and grind some pepper, then whisk the dressing lightly. Wash and spin dry the herbs, pick off the leaves and snip finely with the scissors. Add to the dressing.
  2. For the crispy kale: Preheat oven to 180C. Wash the kale really well, checking for bugs or cocoons, and using scissors, cut the leaves from the stalks in large pieces. Spin leaves dry in the salad spinner, then dry extra well with paper towel, then place in a bowl and add in a few pinches of flaked salt and drizzle of olive oil. Massage all the flavour into the kale for a minute, then lay out on the baking trays and slide into the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until crispy.
  3. For the salad: Fill up the 2 big bowls with cold water & wash the salad leaves in several changes of water. Spin dry and wipe the bowls dry. Fill the small bowl with water and wash the small garnishing leaves and flowers. Reserve them carefully on a piece of paper towel then keep separate in the bowl.
  4. Wash the tomatoes and drain and then slice any large ones in half without squashing! Wash the cucumbers, peel alternating strips of each one and then slice into thin discs.
  5. To poach eggs: Fill the deep-sided frying pan 5cm deep with water and bring to a simmer. Fill the large bowl with cold water. Carefully crack each egg into a small bowl without breaking it and then carefully slide into the water. Let the pan sit for 4 minutes on the lowest heat before removing each egg into the bowl of cold water with a slotted spoon and reserving until needed.
  6. Add the salad leaves to the bowl with the herbs and the dressing. Gently turn the leaves in the dressing using a clean hand without squishing the leaves.
  7. Pile up the dressed leaves into the serving bowls with the  tomatoes and cucumber, sprinkle over the crispy kale, then carefully drain an egg and place in each bowl with the garnishing petals. Serve immediately.
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Cornersmith’s bouillon

This recipe comes to us from the picklery Cornersmith in Marrickville. Bouillon is what we use instead of stock in all our soup and risotto recipes. The aim of the recipe is to use up excess vegetable parts – carrot tops, fennel tops, spinach stems, parsley stems etc.The recipe can be varied with the seasons by adding what you have on hand.

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: leeks, fennel, carrots, parsley, mint, coriander, onions
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe from the Cornersmith Café
Makes: 4 medium jars

Equipment:

  • Jars and lids
  • Large oven tray
  • Paper towel
  • Scales
  • Chopping boards & knives
  • Peelers
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Salad spinner, colander
  • Scissors
  • Wooden spoons
  • Food processor
  • Funnel, teaspoons
Ingredients:

  • 200g brown onions
  • 200g leeks
  • 200g fennel
  • 200g Dutch carrots
  • 200g celery
  • Carrot tops
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 40 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic
  • 200g fine cooking salt

What to do:

  1. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse well and drain upside down. Place all the jars onto an oven tray, right side up, and slide into the oven. Turn the oven on to 160C to sterilize for 15 minutes.
  2. Dry the lids with a clean piece of paper towel.
  3. Wash all the vegetables and scrub if needed. Trim any ugly bits and discard. Peel the onion & garlic, and carrots if needed.
  4. Wash the herbs, spin dry and finely snip, discarding any tough stalks.
  5. Using a large knife, chop all vegetables into small sized chunks. Snip the sun-dried tomatoes into thin slices using scissors.
  6. In batches if necessary, add the ingredients to the food processor.
  7. Process into a thick paste and then scrape out into a clean and dry large bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with the salt so it is mixed in evenly. You can use your hands for this but beware of the onion fumes in your eyes!
  8. Put the funnel into the top of the sterilized jars.
  9. Fill the jars without touching any of the inside or rims, and seal tightly.
  10. You may want to ‘can’ the jars in a water-bath to preserve longer: Line a wide saucepan or stockpot with a rubber mat or tea towel, then place the full, sealed jars in so that none are touching the sides of the pot or each other. Fill with lukewarm water and then set to boil on high for between 10 and 20 minutes. Turn off then using tongs, carefully lift out the jars and leave to cool on a wooden board. Label when cool.

Notes: This is used as a replacement to stock: one tablespoon dissolved in 1 litre of boiling water. It can be added to stews and soups or any meals that need a boost of flavour.

Bouillon will last for a year unopened and stored in a cool dark place. Once opened, store it in the fridge and it should last you for at least 6 months.

ourkitchengarden.net

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