A good old fashioned British casserole with wooden serving spoon

Three Proudly British Recipes – With a Herby Twist!

Three Proudly British Recipes – With a Herby Twist!–With-a-Herby-Twist.jpg 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh–With-a-Herby-Twist.jpg

The recent platinum jubilee celebrations got us hankering for some good old-fashioned British food recipes. But us being us, we also wanted to add a smattering of fresh herbs and ingredients wherever possible!

So we’ve sifted through some of our favourites, and come up with this post. These are three of our favourite traditional British food recipes – with a fresh and herby twist!

What is the most popular dish in the UK?

If you’re thinking about traditional British food recipes, you might think fish and chips, bangers and mash, or toad in the hole. So you might be surprised to learn that a chicken tikka masala has been voted the British Isles’ most popular meal!

There are absolutely tons of ways to approach cooking a tikka – many of which you’ll find over at BBC Good Food. Some of the most popular fresh ingredients that go into it include ginger, green and red chillies and coriander. In our experience, the fresher the better!

Three British recipes with summer herbs

A curry is always great, but for this post we’ve gone for three recipes that could make up a good old-fashioned three-course family dinner.


Creamy leek and potato soup with rosemary and thyme

The first of our proud British recipes is a twist on a classic Scottish starter from The Petite Cook.


  • 1 and a half sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 and a half sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 leeks (lighter parts only), roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 900g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 200 g hazelnuts, peeled
  • 5 litres of vegetable stock
  • 100ml of heated fresh whole milk (or a vegan alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • A quarter of a teaspoon of freshly-cracked white pepper
Creamy leek and potato soup with rosemary and thyme

Image credit: The Petite Cook

How to make

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the leeks, potatoes and garlic. Stir occasionally for five minutes.
  2. Fold in the bay leaves, the whole rosemary and thyme sprigs (keeping the half sprigs back for garnish later), and season with the sea salt and white pepper. Then pour over the stock and cover with a lid. Bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and cook with the lid slightly open to let the steam escape. Keep this going for around 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  3. While the veg is boiling, heat a large skillet and toast the hazelnuts until lightly browned (up to five minutes – keep a close eye on them!). Once they are, cut them into halves and set aside until they’re ready to serve. Then go back to the boiling pot, remove the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs, along with a handful of the leeks and potatoes.
  4. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, pour in the milk of your choice, then blend the soup with a blender until the mixture has a smooth consistency. If the soup is too thin, put pot back on the heat and simmer until it thickens, if the soup is too thick, add a little extra stock and give it a stir, leaving it on the heat until you get the right consistency.
  5. Chop the reserved crispy leeks and cut the potatoes into small cubes, then pour the soup into serving bowls. Place the leeks, potato cubes, chopped heated hazelnuts on top of the soup, and the half sprigs of both rosemary and thyme as a garnish. Add more salt and pepper to season, and serve to your dinner guests!

Beef wellington with parsley and thyme

Beef wellington with parsley and thyme

The main course amongst our British recipes with summer herbs is this delightful English classic from food blog Kitchen Stories.


  • 10g of parsley
  • 10g of thyme
  • 10g of marjoram
  • 1kg beef tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 300g mixed mushrooms
  • 50g of butter
  • 100ml of white wine
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • 120g of bacon
  • 400g of puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Flour for dusting

How to make

  1. Rub the beef tenderloin with freshly ground black pepper, then heat some olive oil in a large frying pan until hot. Brown the beef on all sides for around 10-12 minutes, then set it aside to cool.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and shallots, then chop the herb leaves roughly. Finely cut the mushrooms into cubes, then add the shallots and mushrooms to a large frying pan, pre-heated with the butter and the remaining olive oil. Sauté until the mushrooms and shallots turn translucent.
  3. Pour white wine over the mixture then add salt and the roughly chopped herbs. Keep sautéing for around 10 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat, allowing it to cool.
  4. Lay plastic wrap on a cutting board and place half the bacon slices in the centre. Spread the mushroom paste over the bacon, then put the beef tenderloin on top. Spread the remaining mushroom paste over the beef and cover it with slices of bacon. Tightly wrap the beef with mushroom paste and bacon by wrapping up the plastic wrap. Cool it all in the fridge for around half an hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle. Take the beef from the plastic wrap and place it lengthwise in the middle. Wrap the pastry around the beef so the long sides overlap. Fold in short sides and tightly seal to create the pre-cooked beef wellington.
  6. Place the wellington on a lined baking sheet, brushing it with egg yolk. Bake the wellington in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for around 10-15 minutes. After that time, reduce the heat to 120°C/250°F and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, until the wellington has a golden finish. Remove it from oven and allow to rest for around 10 minutes. Enjoy with other delicious roast dinner food – like that in our ‘herby little Christmas’ blog post.

Royal summer trifle with fresh mint

Finally, for dessert we have this gloriously good-looking and utterly delicious trifle from BBC Good Food Middle East.


  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 500ml of fresh shop-bought vanilla custard
  • 400g madeira cake, chunked
  • 70ml berry cordial of your choice
  • 150g of raspberries
  • 250g of strawberries
  • 500g of hulled strawberries
  • 300ml of double cream
  • 3 tablespoon of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
  • 1 orange, halved and sliced
  • 6 gelatine leaves
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest pared into strips, juiced
  • One drop of red food colouring (optional)
  • 600ml of double cream
  • 200ml of caster sugar
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
Royal summer trifle with fresh mint

Image credit: BBC Good Food ME

How to make

  1. The first step is to make the jelly. Place the gelatine in a small bowl and cover it with water before setting it aside to soak. Then, taking a pan, tip in the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and 400ml of water. Put the pan on a low heat and simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once it has, add the 500g hulled strawberries and bring the mixture to the boil before reducing the heat again for another five minutes. Once the hulled strawberries have broken down completely, pour the whole mixture into a jug through a sieve. Next, take the gelatine bowl you set aside earlier and squeeze the excess water into the strawberry mixture until dissolved, then stir in the drop of red food colouring.
  2. Take the custard and pour it into the base of a big trifle bowl and put the cake pieces on top. Drizzle over the berry cordial and scatter the raspberries on top. Then, being very careful, pour over the jelly mixture. Place the trifle bowl in the fridge to chill for around five hours until set.
  3. Once the jelly layer sets, it’s time to make the orange cream layer. For this, put the sugar, cream and orange zest in a pan and simmer over a low heat until simmering, then turn up to a medium heat and stir in the orange juice. Pour this mixture through a sieve over the jelly layer in the bowl, and place it back in the fridge to set. This should take another four or so hours.
  4. Finally, whip the vanilla bean paste, double cream and icing sugar together using an electric whisk, and dollop the newly whipped cream over the trifle. Put this back in the fridge yet again to chill for a round an hour. While this is chilling, take around half of the 250g fresh, non-hulled strawberries and cut them in half vertically as per the image above, scattering them on top of the trifle. Last but not least, place the orange slices and the remaining whole strawberries in a bowl, and scatter the mint leaves over them and the trifle!

Looking for more delicious recipes?

Check out The Chopping Board or see the selection of delicious dishes we’ve picked out below.

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.

chopping board with cooking ingredients around it

Veganuary: Using Herbs in Vegan Recipes

Veganuary: Using Herbs in Vegan Recipes 1024 569 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

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.


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?!


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.


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 for a wealth of vegan recipes to last you throughout 2021 and beyond.

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.

Herb Salad On Bruschetta

Herb Salad On Bruschetta 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 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 1500 833 R&G Fresh R&G Fresh

Preparation Time

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 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.


7 Chancerygate Way, Hawley Lane
Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 8FF

Tel: +44 (0)1483 474041
Fax: +44 (0)1483 476371