Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Secret Garden Club: cooking with herbs

Hot gin with lavender honey toddy
Tamarind coconut and lemongrass soup
Lavash with herb salad
Blood orange salad with fennel pollen and pomegranate molasses
Sage and ricotta bakes
Bay leaf and nutmeg icecream

Read more about this menu here

Lavender gin toddy recipe:

Serves 8: 

100ml of honey
Lavender sprigs
250ml of gin
Juice of 4 lemons
250ml of hot water

Heat the honey and lavender together gently. Leave to infuse for a couple of hours. (You can keep this for months actually).
Then warm up the gin, lemons, hot water (add more if you want the cocktail to be weaker) and add the honey and lavender. If it isn't sweet enough feel free to add more honey.
You could also use lavender sugar which is sold in Waitrose or you could make it yourself simply by adding lavender flower sprigs to a bag of sugar, leaving it for a few weeks.

Ricotta Sage bakes

500g fresh ricotta
4 eggs
Handful of torn sage leaves
olive oil or butter
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
Salt and pepper

Oil or butter your muffin mould.
Mix the ricotta, eggs, sage leaves, creme fraiche together. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop into a muffin mould. Decorate with a sage leaf. Bake on a medium oven for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and golden around the edges. Check they are cooked inside with a metal skewer, if it emerges without too much runny gunk on it, they are done.

For more information on growing herbs go here.


  1. Ooh loving the sound of the Ricotta/Sage bakes! Desperately waiting for your book from Amazon!

  2. Lavender Gin Toddy would be a splendid change from Whisky Hot Toddy.

    I'v been reading you blog since you started the supper club and was inspired immediately to try and give it a go too, except i did not have space to invite 4 people over, let alone 12. I am moving home, so there is a possibility of it actually hapening. Here's hoping. Thanks for inspiring me and many others Ms Marmite x

  3. I hope you've got the book now Fatima.

    Shaheen: thanks so much. Do let me know if you start!

  4. these look delicious! I've been making ricotta often, so can't wait to try these bakes! thanks for sharing :)


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