If you are one of the festive fairies that has proudly been hanging an edible wreath on their front door this Christmas, then you might just be able to squeeze a bit more life out of it yet! Depending on when you received your wreath, you might find some of those rosemary sprigs, bay leaves and chillies are still going strong, so it’d be a shame to pop them on the compost heap. Here are a few little ideas:
- Dry the bay leaves out by patting them down with kitchen paper and leaving them in a warm and dry place for a few days until they turn a bit crunchy. When they’ve fully dried out store them in a kilner jar and use at will.
- Pop any rosemary sprigs in a jar of water and they’ll keep going for a little while yet.
- Use the sprigs in roasts – just pop a few sprigs in the roasting pan with your meat and they’ll add a wonderful flavour.
- If you’re making stocks, stews or soup, tie a few sprigs of rosemary together with string, along with a couple of your bay leaves and any other fresh herbs you have in the garden and pop it in the pot for extra flavour. Be sure to remember to take it out at the end.
- Chillies freeze brilliantly. Just put them in the freezer whole and take them out as and when you want to use them. They defrost very quickly too which is handy.
- Make a chilli paste – just whizz a few up in a blender with enough oil that they are fully covered, season with salt (add other ingredients like ginger, onion, garlic if you fancy) and store in a jar to add a bit of heat to whatever dishes you like – stir fries, curries and so on.
- Dry them out – cut them in half lengthways, place them facedown on a baking sheet and cook slowly in the oven at 130-150 degrees for 4-6 hours. You can then store them in a kilner.