Recipes

Summer Drinks! Three Refreshing Favourites

Summer Drinks! Three Refreshing Favourites https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Summer-Drinks.jpg 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Summer-Drinks.jpg

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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 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!

Ingredients

  • 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 https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Herby-Chicken-Pie.jpg 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Herby-Chicken-Pie.jpg

Preparation Time

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

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

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.

chopping board with cooking ingredients around it

Veganuary: Using Herbs in Vegan Recipes

Veganuary: Using Herbs in Vegan Recipes https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Best-herbs-to-use-in-vegan-recipes.jpg 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Best-herbs-to-use-in-vegan-recipes.jpg

It’s January! And you know what that means: it’s also Veganuary!

Here at R&G FRESH, we love fresh herby dishes of all kinds, and our focus on ethical sourcing practices means we identify a lot with the Veganuary campaign and what it’s trying to achieve.

So to celebrate Veganuary, and to encourage you to give it a go too, we’ve collected some of our favourite creative vegan recipes featuring fresh herbs.

Parsley and dill

Parsley and dill are two of the best herbs to use in vegan recipes, as their flavour profiles complement and contrast with each other nicely.

Both are soft herbs, but while parsley has an earthy, peppery taste, dill has a sharper, aniseedy one. Combining them in your cooking adds a rich and complex finish to dishes, which we’re big fans of.

This meat-free pasta dish from Crowded Kitchen is a fabulous example. It looks incredible – and it tastes even better!

Alongside parsley and dill, it incorporates olive oil, leeks, peas, sugar snaps, salt, pepper, soak-softened cashews, lemon wedges and fresh or roasted garlic. Oh, and of course, vegan pasta!

You can even add a tad more protein with white beans or grilled tofu. And if the meat-eaters in your household absolutely can’t do without it, they can always add grilled chicken pieces instead.

Creamy-tasting, herby and full of nature’s flavours, this is a brilliant way to get friends and family members on board with Veganuary. But in all honesty, we think it would go down a treat on your dinner table any time of the year.

Turmeric root, coriander and red chillies

Fresh turmeric root has anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the best herbs for a healthy vegan diet. It has a pungent, earthy aroma and adds a musky, peppery taste to meals – along with a golden glow that makes for eye-catching cooking.

Speaking of eye-catching, this recipe for turmeric pumpkin soup from Homespun Capers is certainly that!

soup with fresh herbs on top

Alongside the headline ingredients, it also packs in coconut cream, red lentils, plus lime and coriander – the latter two of which lend a citrusy twist your taste buds are sure to pick up on.

The recipe here also calls for chilli flakes – but we say why not change it up with freshly sliced red chillies instead? We’d suggest one for every half teaspoon of flakes in the recipe, or more if you like your soup with a kick.

Basil

Hearty and aromatic, basil is a universal favourite in salads and hot food recipes alike – but did you know you could also use it in drinks?

Indeed, this recipe for a blueberry tahini basil smoothie from Unconventional Baker is one of our favourite vegan recipes you can make with fresh herbs.

blueberry smoothie in jam jar

For starters – just look at the colour! We can completely picture serving this up to friends and family in the summer (or whenever lockdown laws will allow) and seeing the looks of intrigue and wonder.

It’s so simple to make, too. Just whizz the ingredients – which also include non-dairy milk, frozen banana, hulled tahini and maple syrup – in a blender. Et voila!

The recipe even suggests changing it up by adding lemon juice, cinnamon, or raw vanilla bean extract. It really is a very versatile drink… and did we mention how perfectly purple it is?!

Oregano

We’ve stayed somewhat European so far for our vegan recipes you can make with fresh herbs. But now we’re crossing continents for the taste of Mexico.

These Chimichurri tacos with mushrooms from Veggies Save The Day are a street food favourite, and this is by far one of our favourite creative vegan recipes featuring fresh herbs.

The herb in question, of course, is oregano. A typical favourite in Greek and Italian cooking, this time its bold and ever so slightly bitter flavour is used here as part of the Chimichurri sauce.

Also in there are parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar, plus salt and pepper and olive oil. They’re all blended together and poured over skillet-heated corn tacos filled with sautéed mushrooms.

Top with sliced avocado, and you’re good to go!

Don’t have much room for mushrooms in your life? No problem – swap them out for jackfruit and black beans, sweet potato, or whatever else your taste buds desire.

Chives

And finally, fast food to finish – albeit encompassing two recipes, rather than one.

We found this vegan pesto stuffed crust pizza recipe from My Quiet Kitchen, which suggests using a basil pesto as both a topper and within the stuffed crust.

And honestly, while that’s delicious enough, we want to be a bit more creative, by using what we think is secretly one of the best herbs to use in vegan recipes: chives!

Chives belong to the same family as garlic and onions but have a subtler and more delicate flavour. That’s why we prefer the idea of stuffing said pizza crust with Food52’s vegan spinach and chive pesto instead.

Tickled your taste buds?

So that’s our contribution to Veganuary: five creative vegan recipes featuring fresh herbs you can make and enjoy at home. Have we inspired you to try eating (or drinking!) vegan?

For more of our recipes, check out The Chopping Board. Or head to this page on Feastie.com for a wealth of vegan recipes to last you throughout 2021 and beyond.

Lemon Thyme Drizzle Cake

Lemon Thyme Drizzle Cake https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Lemon-drizzle-cake.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Lemon-drizzle-cake.jpg

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 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 https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/basil-panna-cotta.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/basil-panna-cotta.jpg

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 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.

Herb Salad On Bruschetta

Herb Salad On Bruschetta https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Herb-Salad.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Herb-Salad.jpg

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, mixed colours, roughly chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 4 slices of ciabatta bread, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 clove of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • A small handful of arugula leaves, washed and spun dry
  • A few sprigs of fresh tarragon, leaves picked
  • A few sprigs of fresh herby fennel tops
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 2 good handfuls of other interesting fresh herbs, such as sorrel, basil, parsley, dill, or chive flowers

How to make

1) If you have a griddle pan, put it on the heat and get it nice and hot. If you don’t have one, you’ll be using your toaster in a minute instead.

2) Put your chopped tomatoes into a bowl with a glug of extra virgin olive oil and a swig of balsamic vinegar. Mix together and sprinkle with a little salt. If you are using chilli, add it at this point.

3) Toast the ciabatta slices in your hot griddle pan or a toaster for a minute or so on each side. Once the bread is nicely golden, rub each piece lightly with the cut side of the garlic.

4) Make a dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, three times as much extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the arugula and herbs in the dressing.

5) Divide the ciabatta slices between four plates and top each one with a heap of chopped tomatoes. Press the tomatoes down into the bread and finish with a good pile of your herb and arugula salad.

Herb Soup

Herb Soup https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/herb-soup.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/herb-soup.jpg

Preparation Time

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 500g baby spinach
  • 25g parsley (whole, leaves and stalks)
  • 25g coriander (whole, leaves and stalks)
  • 1200ml vegetable stock
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 10g fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 10g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 5g fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 200g feta
  • Salt and black pepper

How to make

1) Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan.

2) Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for around five minutes, or until translucent and soft. Stir in the turmeric and nutmeg, fry for a couple of minutes, then add the dried mint, spinach, the whole parsley and coriander with leaves and stalks, and stock.

3) Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season, then blitz the soup with a liquidiser or stick blender until smooth.

4) When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup just to boiling point and pour the yoghurt into a bowl. Whisk a ladleful of hot soup into the yoghurt, stirring constantly, and repeat with a couple more ladles of hot soup, then tip the yoghurt mix into the soup and whisk in.

5) Stir through the chopped herbs and crumble in the feta, reserving some leaves and cheese to garnish. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

6) Pour into soup bowls, sprinkle over the herbs and feta, and finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Overnight Couscous Tabbouleh

Overnight Couscous Tabbouleh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Couscous-Tabbouleh-4.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Couscous-Tabbouleh-4.jpg

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 100g couscous
  • 3 large, juicy tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 50g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 25g fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 50g raisins
  • Juice of ½-1 lemon
  • Dash of hot sauce

How to make

1) Put the couscous into a large bowl and add the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, chives, red onion, raisins, and lemon juice. Mix well. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a few shakes of hot sauce.

2) Cover, and leave in the refrigerator or a cool place for 4-8 hours, or overnight. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

Easy Bruchetta

Easy Bruchetta https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Bruchetta.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Bruchetta.jpg

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Handfuls nice mixed ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Good-quality white wine or herb vinegar

How to make

1) The bread is best sliced 1cm thick and toasted on a barbecue, but it can also be done in a griddle pan for ease at home. After that it should be lightly rubbed a couple of times with a cut clove of garlic, then drizzled with some good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

2) The toppings can be as humble or as luxurious as you like, from chopped herbs or a squashed tomato with basil, to marinated vegetables or beautiful cheeses, to lovely flaked crabmeat. The only rule is that whatever goes on top of a bruschetta should be nice and fresh and cooked with care.

3) Make sure your tomatoes are really ripe when making this topping. Give them a wash, remove their cores and carefully squeeze out the seeds. Place in a bowl, tear in the basil, season with salt and pepper, then toss with a good glug of olive oil and a good swig of vinegar to balance the flavours to your taste. You can serve the tomatoes either chunky or finely chopped, or you can scrunch them between your fingers before putting them on your basic bruschette – really tasty.

Garden Herb Spread

Garden Herb Spread https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/herb-spread.jpg 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh https://rgfresh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/herb-spread.jpg

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Makes around 500g

Ingredients

  • 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.

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