Hugely welcome return to The Kitchen Garden this morning, we are as ever learning about something new and today Hannah from London Herb Garden is giving us her wisdom on the relatively unknown herb Salad Burnet. If you want any more information about growing herbs or how to cook with them then visit our archive at The Kitchen Garden.
Salad burnet is a new herb to me, but it is an old world herb with plenty of uses. It is a great herb to plant now as it will provide you with a few leaves, which can obviously be used for salad, before producing more vigour growth in the spring. It is an evergreen plant, and survives even the harshest winters, making it an excellent herb for northern European climates where it originally hails from.
The small fern like leaves have a faint cucumbery taste which can be used in many dishes. One of the most famous dishes it is used in is Frankfurt green sauce, where it is one of the seven traditional herbs used to make up the sauce often served alongside meat and potatoes. It is often mixed with borage, sorrel, garden cress, chervil, chives, and parsley, which are also all great seeds to sow now, and should provide you with greenery throughout the winter.
Though not many recipes in this country use it, it is found in some French and Italian recipes, but it does have a strong culinary history in this country. The Elizabethans loved it and Pilgrims to the new land took seeds with them to grow there when they arrived in their new home. The plant itself can be grown in many different ways including in containers, but also grows well in wet soils in flower beds. And as it is such an attractive plant, many people even grow it as an attractive edging plant, making it perfect to co-plant with flowers if you want your edible plants to be mixed in with more attractive plants.
You can buy salad burnet plants from some suppliers, and may even be able to find it in the wild if you know what you are looking for. The red flowers will be out now and the plant prefers limestone soils and can be found in grass and meadowlands. However, it is easy enough to grow from seed and the seeds can be sown thinly, and directly into soil now, about 1-2cm deep. You can harvest leaves lightly through the winter, but make sure you harvest leaves young when growth becomes more vigorous and harvest flowers to ensure more leaf growth. Harvest leaves as young as possible, as older leaves can have a bitter taste.
And be warned, salad burnet is a prolific self-seeder, so be prepared to do a lot of deadheading or to have more burnet than you can eat!
Grüne Soße or Frankfurter Grie Soß
The basic recipe for Green Sauce or Salsa Verde is at least 2,000 years old. The Romans brought it to Italy, from where it was then exported to France and Germany. Evidence suggests that it was introduced in Frankfurt am Main by the Italian trading families Bolongaro and Crevenna around 1700. One theory behind the German version are French Protestants moving to Kurhessen during the 18th century. The German variant uses a different mix of herbs since Mediterranean herbs were not readily available in Germany at the time.
- 2 tbsps sorrel
- 2 tbsps parsley
- 2 tbsps salad burnet
- 2 tbsps borage
- 3 tbsps chives
- 3 tbsps watercress
- 1 tbsp tarragon
- 1 tbsp chervil
- 118 ml of mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp horseradish
- 2 hardboiled egg
- 1 small cornichon
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- A large pinch of salt
- A large pinch of freshly milled black pepper
- The juice and zest of one lemon
- 3 tbsps sour cream
- 1 egg yolk
Finely chop the herbs and place in a large bowl. fold the herbs int0 the sour cream and mayonnaise. Add the chipped cornichon, boiled egg and onion and garlic. Add the mustard, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Grate the lemon zest into the bowl and mix until you get the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.