Tag Archives: herbs

365 Frankendael 247 from Tenerife

Whilst away from Amsterdam, I’ve taken some photos of just a few beautiful  Tenerife herbs. So many here are familiar to me and extremely useful. Many are available in Amsterdam as well at present. Some clearly not but most are probably familiar to readers of this blog.


Pennywort above. I remember this from my years in Somerset.


An extraordinary plant which looks quite like a type of Chicory or Dandelion. I need to look this one up. It grows all around the lush North of the island and is generally found alone, massive and growing out of cracks in stone walls and rocks.


Above is Chickweed. We’ve been feeding it to local chickens.


Above  an unusual Mallow species, growing beside the Wine museum.


A familiar site, African Marigolds, Tagetes, non edible but an extremely potent herb and one used by many as a garden companion plant. They spread like a weed here, at the edge of the vineyard where we are staying.


Hibiscus. I can’t stop thinking about the usefulness of Hollyhock, even here. This plant has similar looking flowers and is also a useful herb. More about it later.


Pelitory of the wall. Growing prolifically. I look forward to seeing how out is fairing up I the Netherlands at the moment.


Beautiful, peppery and healing Nasturtiums. Growing wild and prolific. An old use of these on Tenerife is to use a leaf fresh as a natural substitute for toilet roil. It can cure hemorrhoids when used in this way.

That’s it for today. Time to get back to the plants and the sunshine.

Wild Herb Pasta

If you enjoy making fresh pasta and would like to inject some herbal magic into your creations, this recipe may interest you. Fresh herb leaves are blended through the pasta as it is repeatedly rolled in a pasta machine.

I heard about incorporating basil in this way from a colleague, who’d been to an Italian cooking workshop. I’ve made pasta with nettle juice before but find that quite a slow process so I thought I’d try it this way but incorporating some unusual foraged and pot grown herbs.

This method is very easy, it just takes a little more time than regular pasta making. I’ve no idea if this is how the Italian workshop prescribed it but this way certainly works and produces very herby pasta!

If you don’t know how to make pasta I recommend Jamie Oliver’s method. It’s very simple and works for me everytime:

A. Basically fork 4 eggs into 400g of tipo00 flour.
B. Do what you can with the fork then knead it thoroughly with your hands.
C. Wrap in clingfilm, or similar and refrigerate for 2 hours or so.

Whilst it settles in the fridge, get foraging! I used garlic mustard, basil, ground elder and parsley when I took these photos. Use what you have available. Curley Parsley was a challenge to incorporate but it eventually broke down well and tasted great. The other herbs broke down very quickly. Obviously, use herbs which are safe for you and your guests. Basil for instance is often avoided by pregnant women. A small quantity is unlikely to harm but be aware that even seemingly innocuous culinary herbs, can be very potent.

Now, how to incorporate the herbs…

1. As you progressively roll your pasta dough in the usual way, through a pasta machine, or by hand with a rolling pin, simply lay a few herb leaves down the middle of the pasta sheet.

2. Fold over the two sides to cover the herbs.

3. Continue running the dough through the increasingly narrow pasta machine. Each run through, will break down the herbs. Eventually tiny fragments will be distributed throughout the entire pasta sheet – it’s quite extraordinary to watch it happen!

4. Keep going until the pasta dough is as thin a you like and cut or process it as you wish.

I always make heaps of pasta (6 eggs, 600g flour), we then eat a hearty pasta meal and freeze the rest in portion sized containers, when still fresh and just dry enough to handle.