Something Special

Tomatoes and herbs in a bowl

Three of Our Favourite Herby Tomato Recipes

Three of Our Favourite Herby Tomato Recipes 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Ah, the humble tomato. Whether tangy or sweet, soft or firm, field fresh or unripe, tinned or pureed, they make for some of the most delicious food dishes on planet Earth.

They also go especially well with the fresh produce we’re famed for here at R&G Fresh. Which only adds to why we love them so!

So to celebrate British Tomato Fortnight happening between 24th May and 6th June, we’ve put together three of our favourite tomato recipes featuring fresh herbs and other ingredients. We hope you love them, just as much as we do!

Fried green tomatoes recipe with herby ripe tomato salsa

The idea of eating unripe fried green tomatoes may sound funny. However, frying a green tomato softens them up and releases the delicious juices – whereas frying an already-ripe red one will break the tomato down into a lumpy mess.

Additionally, by coating the fried green tomatoes, you also add a satisfying crunch to what’s often seen as one of the most satisfying starter tomato recipes.

We’ve gone for this BBC Good Food recipe as it also comes with a herb-tastic ripe tomato salsa – giving you all the tomatoey goodness you can handle, all in one dish!

Fried green tomatoes and ripe tomato salsa

Image credit: BBC Good Food

Ingredients for the tomatoes

  • 4 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 200g of polenta
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 large green tomatoes (weighing around 500g), sliced roughly 1cm thick
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

How to make

  1. To make your fried green tomatoes, start by sprinkling the flour onto a plate. Next, place polenta into a medium bowl, season and mix well. Put the eggs in a small bowl and beat the mixture.
  2. Lightly coat a green tomato slice first in the flour, dusting off any excess. Then dip in the egg. Then coat in polenta. Repeat with the rest of the green tomato slices.
  3. Heat a shallow pool of oil in a large frying pan then take the covered tomatoes and fry them in batches until crisp and golden on both sides. Makes sure you turn them over with a fish slice or thin spatula while cooking.
  4. As each fried green tomato batch is done, drain them on kitchen paper and keep them warm in a low oven while you fry the other batches.

Ingredients for the salsa

  • 1 handful mint leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1  deseeded green chilli(finely chopped)
  • 1 large or 2-3 medium ripe tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 2 spring onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon of lime juice

How to make

The salsa is designed to accompany your fried green tomatoes – and it’s absolutely delicious!

  1. To make it, simply mix all of the salsa ingredients above in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Serve the fried green tomatoes hot, with the salsa either spooned over, or as a dip on the side.

Shakshuka recipe with chilli and coriander

Shakshuka is a tomatoey stew with eggs on top that’s brilliant as a breakfast food or evening meal alike – making it one of the most versatile tomato recipes around. It’s designed for dipping, and can play host to a variety of herbs. We’re especially partial to the easy and simple shakshuka recipe below, courtesy (yet again) of BBC Good Food.


  • red chilli, (deseeded and chopped into small pieces)
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves and stalks (chopped separately)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 red onions (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (sliced or pressed)
  • 2 cans of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 4 eggs

How to make

  1. Heat the olive oil in a lidded frying pan, then add the onions so they soften. As the onions are cooking, also add in the chilli, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 minutes until they’re soft too.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, then cook the mixture all together for 8-10 mins until thick and bubbling.
  3. Make 4 dips in the sauce with a large serving spoon, then crack an egg into each one (make sure to avoid any shell falling in!). Place the lid on the pan and cook on a low heat for 6-8 minutes, removing from the heat when the eggs are done to your tastes.
  4. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with crusty bread.

Super tomatoey spaghetti sauce recipe

This super easy spaghetti sauce recipe is an original R&G Fresh creation. It’s brilliant served with meat as speedy hassle-free Bolognese, but also goes well in a lasagne, or stirred into any pasta of your choice with grated cheese sprinkled on top!


  • 1 handful of fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ½-1 small diced red or green chilli to taste (entirely optional)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 500g tub of passata
  • 1 brown onion (finely diced)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (chopped or pressed)
  • 1 beef stock pot
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder
  • 2-3 tablet sweeteners or granule equivalent
  • 1 medium-sized glass of red wine
  • Spray oil
  • 500g beef or pork mince (optional)

How to make

  1. Coat a pan with spray oil and place on a high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions until they start to soften. (if making lasagne or a Bolognese, add the meat at this point too). After a few minutes, add the garlic (and if you’re adding spice, the chilli of your choice as well) and continue to heat for a further 2-3 minutes (or until the meat has browned).
  2. Once the onions and garlic are soft (and the meat, if present, is cooked), pour in the tinned tomatoes and passata and lower to a medium temperature.
  3. Shortly after the pot will begin to bubble. At this point, stir in the beef stock pot, vegetable stock powder and two of the sweeteners, then pour in the red wine, giving the mixture a final stir.
  4. Lower the heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped basil and chopped oregano leaves, stirring them in so that the flavours combine with the now-thickened sauce. (As soft herbs, you’re much better adding these towards the end of the cooking time, as explained in our blog on adding herbs to your cooking).
  6. Heat for a further 5 minutes and taste-test, then add the last sweetener to suit your tastes.
  7. Serve over spaghetti, pasta, or as the red filling in a lasagne.

How will you celebrate British Tomato Fortnight?

So those are three of our favourite herby tomato recipes. Which one will you be trying first? Let us know in the comments below, or tell us what recipes you’d like to see next over on our Facebook page.

For other brilliant foodie ideas full of fresh herbs and other hand-picked ingredients, check out our blogs below – or visit The Chopping Board to see them all in one place.

A Herby Mother’s Day Meal To Remember

A Herby Mother’s Day Meal To Remember 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we thought it would be nice to come up with a whole three-course mother’s day dinner you could make for her at home that’s packed with fresh herbs and ingredients.

These are three of mum’s favourite recipes with a herby twist.

Starter: Herb and chilli calamari

Salt pepper and chilli squid

Image credit: Olive

The first of our Mother’s Day dinner ideas is fantastic as a starter to share but also great as a meal outright on its own!


  • Half a bunch of finely chopped coriander
  • Two deseeded sliced red chillies
  • 50ml milk of your choice (unsweetened)
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 400g squid
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • Three finely sliced spring onions
  • A handful of chopped or crushed peanuts
  • Two limes, cut into wedges

How to make

  1. Take two mixing bowls. Add both types of flour to one and season with salt and pepper. Pour the milk into the other bowl. Take a frying pan and fill it around a third full with oil, then heat it until sizzling
  2. Take batches of the ringed or spiralled squid and dip them into the milk, then into the seasoned flour, coating it well. Then lower the seasoned squid into the heated oil for up to two minutes until golden. Place in a bowl lined with kitchen paper and season it with the sea salt and more pepper as required.
  3. Once you’ve cooked all the squid and left it to drain of oil, place it in a serving bowl and add the chillies, spring onions, peanuts and coriander, stirring them all through until the bowl looks colourful and appetising. Serve as a sharer with lime wedges for squeezing.

Main: Citrus-herb roast chicken with lemon herb Hasselback potatoes

We think Mother’s Day meals should have a satisfying main course, and we love a herby lemony theme that really gets across the sense that spring is finally in the air.

Ingredients for the chicken

  • Two fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Four fresh sprigs of dill
  • Four fresh sprigs of thyme
  • A large fresh ready-to-roast chicken
  • Six medium-sized carrots, halved and cut into chunks
  • Three to four wedged red onions
  • Around 1kg of cubed butternut squash
  • Six spring onions cut into small chunks
  • One lemon
  • One orange
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of pepper
  • Around 700ml of chicken stock
A roast chicken on a bed of veg

Image credit: Taste of Home

How to make

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark four (higher if not a fan oven). Cut the garlic into smaller chunks then make several incisions in the chicken breasts, drumsticks and thighs and push the garlic into them. Once you’re done, tie the drumsticks together, so they’re held in place like in the picture above.
  2. Put the chopped up carrots, squash and red onions in a shallow roasting pan with the rosemary, dill and thyme to make a bed for the chicken, then place the chicken on top. Cut both the lemon and orange in half and squeeze the juices all over everything in the roasting tray, getting an even spread over chicken and herbed veggies. Once they’ve been squeezed through, push the fruits into the cavity of the chicken and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Once that’s done, pour the chicken stock evenly around the outside of the chicken so it can be absorbed by the veg.
  3. Roast for the guidance given on the chicken depending on its exact weight – typically around two and a half hours for a large chicken of around 2.5kg. (a cooked chicken should be around 74 degrees centigrade). If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, cover it with foil. Around 20 minutes from the end of cooking, sprinkle the spring onions over the veg.
  4. Take the chicken out of the oven and cover it with foil (or leave covered if it already is). Let it stand for 15 minutes before serving with…

Ingredients for the potatoes

  • One tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • Two tablespoons of fresh minced parsley
  • Six large russet potatoes
  • Around 120g of butter
  • Four grated garlic cloves
  • A lemon (zested then sliced)
  • One tablespoon of sea salt
  • One tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two whole heads of garlic, each cut in half
Hasselback potatoes

Image credit: Nutmeg Nanny

How to make

  1. Place the thyme, rosemary, butter, grated garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix together until you have a smooth buttery mixture.
  2. Cut deep, thin grooves along each potato around half a centimetre apart, giving the potatoes that ridged appearance.
  3. Put the potatoes in a shallow pan for baking then coat them with the butter mix you made earlier. Drizzle some olive oil (or spray some fry light) onto the top, and place the lemon slices and garlic heads around them.
  4. Cover the whole pan with foil and bake for an hour and a half, removing the foil for the final 30 minutes. If your chicken takes around two and a half hours, this means you can prepare the chicken, then sort the Hasselback potatoes while the chicken cooks for the first hour.

Dessert: Rosemary and thyme apple pie with tarragon and mint ice cream

Dessert is an essential part of all Mother’s Day meal ideas, and a freshly made one can play an essential part in making mum feel special and appreciated on her big day. And this herby combination, in our minds, is extra special! Given the timings, we recommend beginning this process before you start work on the starter or main course above.

Ingredients for the apple pie crust

  • 340g of plain flour
  • One tablespoon of white sugar
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • 230g unsalted butter (frozen)

Ingredients for the apple pie filling

  • One and a half teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary
  • One teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
  • Eight peeled, cored and sliced granny smiths apples
  • 120g of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • Three tablespoons of plain flour
  • 100g of white sugar
  • 100g of light brown sugar
  • 60ml of water
Rosemary and thyme apple pie

Image credit: All Recipes

How to make

  1. Starting with the crust ingredients, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and place the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes. Also, place the butter in the freezer at this point if you haven’t already, albeit separately from the mixture. Then measure out 250ml of water and set aside, adding a few ice cubes to cool the water right down.
  2. Take the flour mixture and butter out of the freezer and grate half the butter into the mixture, tossing it together with a spatula. Pour the ice water into the mixture, adding a bit at a time until it begins to form a clumpy dough. Knead this together with your hands until it has the right consistency, then tear the dough in half, covering each in clingfilm. Place both in the fridge for at least an hour.
  3. After an hour, take the dough and roll out one half into a lightly floured large pie pan. The second lot of dough you should take and roll out on a lightly floured chopping board, then cut into long strips which will form the crust. At this point, turn on the oven, preheating it to 220 degrees or gas mark seven.
  4. Fill the pie base in the tin with the sliced apples, then place the strips of dough over them, sealing the pie with a lattice crust that weaves in and out as pictured. Place the pie in the fridge while you go on to making the herby sauce.
  5. For the sauce, melt the other half of the butter in a saucepan and stir in the three tablespoons of plain flour in the fillings list above. This will form a paste. Add to it the white and brown sugars along with the 60ml water, plus of course the chopped rosemary and dried thyme. Bring the whole thing to the boil, then reduce the heat quickly, simmering it all for five to seven minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  6. At this point, all that’s left to do is to remove the pie from the fridge, pour the caramelised herby butter sauce over it in a delicious pattern, and place it in the preheated oven, turning the heat down to 175 degrees centigrade or gas mark four. The whole pie should take around 40 minutes to cook, and we advise letting it cool for around five minutes before serving.

Ingredients for the ice cream

If you thought a rosemary and thyme apple pie was a flavour treat, wait until you try it with this! Herby ice cream really is the perfect accompaniment, and a fantastic way to finish off your specially-made herby Mother’s Day dinner. Like the apple pie, this recipe takes several hours from beginning to end, but can actually be left overnight. We’d therefore suggest making the mixture the day before you intend to use it, then finishing it off in the ice cream maker and freezing the mixture before you start cooking the chicken.

To make this sumptuous ice cream, you will need:

  • 15g of mint leaves
  • 15g of fresh tarragon leaves
  • 480ml of thick cream or a non-dairy equivalent
  • 240ml of a milk of your choice
  • 100g white sugar
  • Six egg yolks
  • A bag of ice
  • Water
  • An ice cream maker!
Tarragon and mint ice cream

Image credit: Culture Cheese Mag

How to make

  1. Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan over a medium to low heat for three minutes until it’s steaming without getting as far simmering. Add the mint leaves, then turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for an hour. After that hour, strain the mixture through a sieve into another pot, so the mint leaves aren’t left in it.
  2. Fill a big bowl three-quarters full with water, then top up with ice to make an ice bath.
  3. Put the pot of now minty cream and milk mixture back onto a medium0low heat until it’s once again steaming. Then whisk together the egg yolks and sugar for a minute or so until the mixture is sticky and runny. Gradually pour in one-third of the heated mixture from the pot, whisking as you go. Then pour that whisked mixture into the rest of the heated milk and stir it all together. Cook it for another five to seven minutes until the mixture is more like a nice thick minty custard.
  4. From here, put the custard through a sieve into a medium-sized mixing bowl, then place that bowl in the ice bath, ensuring no water leaks into it from the sides. (Cover it if you’re unsure about this). Leave it there for around 10 minutes, then pour the cooled mixture into a blender along with the tarragon leaves, pulsing it all together until combined.
  5. At this point you need to refrigerate the mixture for at least four hours (for ease, we’d suggest overnight as per above). From there, it’s a simple matter of running the mixture through your ice cream maker, then freezing it for at least two hours before serving with the apple pie!

Need more herby recipes?

We sincerely hope you loved these Mother’s Day dinner ideas. If you do choose to make any of them, please let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out The Chopping Board for more herby meal inspiration, or shortcut to some of our favourites at the blogs below.

From all of us here at R&G Fresh, have a fantastic Mother’s Day!

Summer Drinks! Three Refreshing Favourites

Summer Drinks! Three Refreshing Favourites 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

With schools out for summer and the holidays in full swing, we thought we’d bring together three of our favourite refreshing summer drinks recipes infused with herbs, all in one place for you to enjoy.

We’ve gone for non-alcoholic herby mocktails so the whole family can enjoy them. But of course, you can always add a spirit of your choice if you want to take the edge off after a long hot day!

Refreshing lemongrass orangeade

The first of our favourite easy refreshing summer drinks recipes is this tasty, tangy lemongrass orangeade recipe from Waitrose.


  • Two lemongrass stalks (bash the stems)
  • Six juiced oranges (save the peel from two of them)
  • One juiced lemon
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 600ml chilled soda water
  • Goes well with vodka

Image credit: Waitrose

How to make

  1. Take two of the oranges and grate the zest from them, then place this zest into a pan with the lemongrass, sugar and half the water (300ml). Bring to the boil using a medium heat and stir the mixture until the sugar’s completely dissolved. Once it has, simmer for around five minutes until the whole mixture has the consistency of syrup.
  2. Leave the syrup to cool. Once it has, add both the orange juice and lemon juice and stir, then strain everything into a jug. This is your refreshing lemongrass orangeade mixture!
  3. Keep in the fridge for up to three days and serve with orange cordial to taste, topped up with ice and soda water.

Minty strawberry limeade

Number two of our three refreshing summer drinks with herbs in them is this gorgeous strawberry limeade from foodie blog Fifteen Spatulas, chock full of fresh mint leaves.


  • 25-30 fresh mint leaves
  • 120ml lime juice
  • 43g of sugar
  • 550ml cold water
  • 230g sliced strawberries
  • Goes well with rum
Minty strawberry lemonade

Image credit: Fifteen Spatulas

How to make

  1. As with the lemongrass orangeade, you’ll be making a syrup here first then adding the juice. To start with, add 75ml of the water to a saucepan and pour in the sugar. Cook over a medium-high heat for between five and 10 minutes until the solution is clear, meaning the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour the rest of the water into a pitcher or other container and add the syrup along with the lime juice, most of the mint leaves, and all of the strawberries. Put the jar into the fridge for between two and three hours to chill and infuse.
  3. Serve in cold mason jars (if you like the presentation above) or chilled glasses and garnish with a couple of mint leaves. Enjoy!

Chilli watermelon agua fresca

The third and final of our favourite refreshing summer drinks is this rich, fruity watermelon agua fresca from Myriad Musings, blended with hot green chillies for a satisfying kick!


  • Three green chillies
  • Around 450g diced watermelon
  • Two teaspoons of honey or maple syrup
  • Around 300g of ice cubes
  • 15 grams fresh mint leaves
  • Two juiced limes
  • One cucumber for garnish
  • Goes well with gin
Chilli watermelon agua fresca

Image credit: Myriad Musings

How to make

  1. Grab a blender and throw in at least a third of the fresh mint leaves, all three green chillies, plus the watermelon, lime juice, honey and half the ice cubes, then blend them together until pureed. Add water if the mixture looks a little thicker than you’d like.
  2. Strain into a jug (unless you prefer a thicker, more pulpy drink, in which case skip this step). Then grab the majority of the remaining mint leaves and add them to the liquid, pressing them with a muddler to release their minty flavour into the drink.
  3. To serve, add the remaining ice into glasses and pour over the blended watermelon agua fresca, garnishing each glass with the last of the mint plus slices of cucumber and lime to taste.

More amazing recipes

So that’s our blog about summer drinks: three refreshing favourites – each one packed with tasty herbs and other fresh ingredients. Which one will you try first?

If full alcoholic cocktails infused with herbs are more your thing, check out this post over at Relish. And of course, head to The Chopping Board for more of our favourite recipes featuring soft and hard herbs, as well as other fresh ingredients of all kinds.

Related posts

Lip-Lickin’ Herby Chicken Pie Recipe

Lip-Lickin’ Herby Chicken Pie Recipe 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

Roughly 2-2.5 hours (including 1hour 30mins in the oven)

Yield: 4 servings


For the pastry:

  • 1tbsp chives (chopped)
  • 1tbsp thyme leaves (fresh)
  • 1 sprig separated sage leaves (fresh)
  • Roughly 130g diced unsalted butter (including up to 10g for greasing)
  • 240g-250g plain flour (including some for dusting)
  • 4tbsp milk of your choice (use unsweetened if non-dairy)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glazing)

For the filling:

  • Small bunch parsley (finely chopped. Try using our curly parsley for added flavour!)
  • ½ bunch tarragon leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (we prefer olive or rapeseed)
  • Spring onions (sliced)
  • 200g peas (ideally frozen)
  • 250g spinach (ideally frozen)
  • 400g-500g shredded chicken or six roasted chicken thighs
  • ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 200ml crème fraiche (full or half fat, to your preference)
  • 350ml chicken stock (hot)
Herby chicken pie filling

How to make

1) Start with the pastry. Place 225g of the flour into a good-size mixing bowl and work in the butter with your hands until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then add the thyme, chives and milk and mix with a large metal spoon or blunt knife, adding a splash of water if the now-doughy concoction feels a little dry and brittle.

2) Sprinkle flour over a flat surface and place the dough on it for kneading. Once kneaded, form it into a circle and wrap in clingfilm, then put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up.

3) Now for the filling. Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C for fan ovens (gas mark 4). Add the cooking oil to a deep pan or casserole dish and place on the stove on medium heat. First, fry the spring onions for 3 minutes, then add the frozen spinach for a further 2 minutes, stirring the whole time.

4) Next, add the chicken. (If you’re using thighs, you’ll need to remove the meat from the bone first, discarding the skin and clean carcass). Pour in the stock and dollop in the wholegrain mustard, then cook on the stove for around 10 minutes. Take off the heat, add the crème fraiche, tarragon and parsley, and stir, then leave to settle.

5) Your filling is now ready to go in the pastry! For this stage, first, grease and then flour the pie plate or cake tin you want to cook your pie in. Then take around half the chilled pastry and roll it out to fit the plate or tin. Line the plate/tin with the pastry to create the base for your pie, and scoop in the herbily fragrant filling!

6) Take the remaining pastry and after rolling it out to a size that will cover the pie, carefully press the sage leaves into it. Lay your newly-herbed pie lid over the filled pie plate/tin and firmly join the edges of the pastry lid and sides. Remove any excess pastry and, if you like, arrange it decoratively on the top of the lid. (We like to cut it into little herby leaf shapes, but that’s just us!).

7) Cut a small slit in the middle of the pie and glaze with the brushed-on egg, and bake in the middle of the oven for around 90 minutes until your pie is a deliciously light golden-brown. Then serve with seasonal greens and enjoy!

Tip: We love to serve this recipe with Clean Eating’s deliciously rich White Wine Herb Sauce, which incorporates herbs like flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil. Check that out here.

Lemon Thyme Drizzle Cake

Lemon Thyme Drizzle Cake 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 115g butter, softened
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 170g self-raising flour, sifted
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the icing
  • 2 tbsp lemon thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 140g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon

For decoration:

  • A few sprigs of lemon thyme with flowers, if available

How to make

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease a 450g loaf tin, line the base and ends with a strip of baking paper and lightly grease.

2) Make sure the lemon thyme leaves are dry before you chop them. Place in a food processor with the caster sugar and whizz until the sugar turns green and the leaves have been finely chopped.

3) Add the butter and lemon zest and whizz until fluffy, then gradually add the eggs. Mix in 1 tbsp lemon juice, then scrape into a bowl and fold in the flour and salt.

4) Spoon into the loaf tin. Bake for 20 minutes, then loosely cover the top with foil if it is browning too quickly and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until well risen and golden. Test by inserting a skewer into the cake; if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

5) To make the icing, stir the finely chopped lemon thyme into the icing sugar and add enough lemon juice to form a thick icing.

6) While it’s still in the tin, transfer the cake to a wire rack. Leave for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and spoon the icing over the top of the warm cake. It will drizzle down the sides. Leave to cool. Shortly before serving, decorate with the sprigs of lemon thyme.

panna cotta on a plate with fresh basil

Basil Panna Cotta

Basil Panna Cotta 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 70ml milk
  • 2 vanilla pods, scored and seeds separated
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 375ml double cream
  • 2 large bunches basil, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1½ gelatine leaves, soaked in water
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

How to make

1) Put the milk, vanilla pods, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and half the cream into a small pan and slowly simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by a third.

2) Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla pods and stir in the chopped basil and gelatine leaves until dissolved. Allow to cool a little, then place in the fridge, stirring occasionally, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

3) Remove from the fridge and either strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the basil leaves or if, like me, you like the direct flavour of the leaves, leave them in.

4) Whip together the icing sugar with the remaining cream. Mix the two cream mixtures together. Divide into four serving moulds or small glasses. Cover and chill for at least an hour in the fridge.

5) Serve by dunking the glasses into hot water then tipping on to a serving plate; this will remove the panna cotta from the container. Decorate with a few basil leaves and serve with figs, redcurrants, peaches or nectarines.

Garden Herb Spread

Garden Herb Spread 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Makes around 500g


  • 60g raw cashews
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 450g firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 30g red onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt and black pepper

How to make

In a blender, blitz the cashews into coarse crumbs. Add the garlic and pulse to incorporate. Crumble in the tofu. Blend until relatively smooth. Add everything else and pulse. You don’t want the onion and herbs to completely puree – they should be chopped into small bits.

You can serve immediately, but it’s best when it has been chilled for at least 30 minutes.

Amazing Marinara Sauce

Amazing Marinara Sauce 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 cans Italian Plum Tomatoes (I Recommend San Marzano, 26- To 28-ounce Cans)
  • 60 ml Olive Oil
  • 12 cloves Coarsely Chopped Garlic
  • 12 leaves Fresh Basil, Sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

How to make

1) Drain the tomatoes in a colander set in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Reserve the tomato liquid.

2) In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. If the garlic cooks too quickly, reduce the heat.

3) Add the basil, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook the mixture for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, increase the heat to high, and cook them for about 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon or long-handled fork to break them up, or until the tomatoes boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes break down.

4) Add the reserved tomato liquid. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil it for about 12 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Stir it occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent the sauce from burning.

5) Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set it aside for about 1 hour or until it cools to room temperature. Transfer it to a tightly covered storage container and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. (I freeze one cup portions flat in baggies so I can easily thaw as needed.)

Royal Potato Salad

Royal Potato Salad 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 800g jersey royals, cleaned but not scrubbed
  • 15 quail eggs
  • 150g petit pois (blanched for 30 seconds and refreshed)
  • 60g parmesan, grated
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 20g basil leaves
  • 20g parsley leaves, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1 bunch mint leaves, finely shredded
  • 200ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp white-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

How to make

1) Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil: simmer for 30 seconds (semi-soft) to two minutes (hard-boiled), according to taste. Refresh in cold water and peel.

2) Cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until soft but not falling apart. Meanwhile, put the basil, parsley, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and blitz to a paste. Add the oil and pulse until you have a runny pesto.

3) As soon as they are cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in two (they will absorb more flavour when hot) and toss with the pesto, peas, vinegar and sorrel. Mix well, even crush the potatoes slightly, so all the flavours mix.

4) Taste and adjust the seasoning, being generous with the pepper. Cut the eggs in half and fold into the salad. Garnish with parsley.


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