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Kylie Williams
August 26, 2020

Winter-loving herbs

Eat fresh with these winter-loving herbs
Balconies and winter gardens don’t need to be bare come winter. You can grow a bustling winter herb crop outdoors with a few cold-tolerant varieties under a tunnel cover for frost and snow protection.

Next stop, warming mint tea and rosemary-scented hot roasts!

Why grow herbs in winter?
Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like iron and calcium, herbs are a healthy addition to any dish. But the superpower of these edible plants lies in their protective polyphenols – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds. Adding fresh herbs to your dishes throughout winter will keep your body topped up with nutritional goodness.

Cool-weather herbs
All herbs prefer sunshine and temperate weather, but parsley, marjoram, garlic chives, thyme, and sorrel can also tolerate cool, wintry weather. Be sure to provide diligent care and regular harvesting during summer and autumn to keep these herb varieties fighting fit for the winter months.

 

garlic

Frost protection
Construct a growing tunnel or shelter for your herbs to protect them from the frost and snow. All you need is a framework of stakes or pipes and a covering. A frost cloth that allows water and sunlight through will require minimal maintenance, while a plastic covering will offer optimal warmth in exchange for regular watering on your part.

How to use winter herbs
In hearty comfort food, of course! Try this winter herb recipe to soothe your soul on a chilly winter evening. It pairs beautifully with a hot roast.

Herb Polenta

Ingredients

• 1L chicken stock (alternative: water)
• 1 cup fine polenta
• 1 cup (100g) parmesan cheese, grated
• 75g butter, cubed
• Freshly cracked salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 3 sprigs thyme leaves, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

Method

• In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Steadily add the polenta, constantly whisking. Continue whisking until the polenta starts to thicken (5 minutes).
• Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Whisk the polenta regularly to avoid lumps.
• Once the polenta is cooked it will start to pull away from the pot sides as you whisk. At this stage, vigorously stir in the cheese and butter until melted. Add the salt and pepper and herbs. Stir well.

Serve hot with garlic bread or a roast then store leftovers in the fridge to enjoy tomorrow.

 

Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash