I once again came home with a basket full of greens from the market, many of them herbs.
Every year at this time people will come to the market and peruse the array of fresh seasonal vegetables of spring and ask...
"Do you have any basil?"
I aim to educate and explain, basil is a summer herb, it's not in season yet but there are all these herbs, fresh and ready now...
Today at market I had parsley, sage, thyme, mint, lovage, Vietnamese mint and salad burnet.
But you know what?
People just don't know what to do with them, let alone rejoice in them!
So here is what you could have made with those amazing fresh flavours...
Rice Paper Wraps
So fresh and easy, these really are "spring rolls". Some left over cold chicken shredded and carrot mixed with some of those greens above in the top picture all wrapped up in a rice paper round.
Tender spinach and beetroot tops were finely sliced and the leaves pulled from the Asian greens. Salad burnet adds a cucumber flavour and a welcome addition when cucumbers aren't in season. The lovage leaf brings the flavour of celery but in its soft leafy form it is ideal for including in the wrap. The flowers from the Asian greens taste of a mild nutty brassica-ish-ness.
Serve with a dipping sauce of soy, mirin and lemon juice.
No we don't have basil until summer comes but there is a lot of herbs to rejoice in in the spring season. Perhaps we need some of these chefs-superstars on commercial TV to put down the basil and start sharing some more ideas with home cooks about other herb delights.