Saturday 6 April 2013

A Year of Flavour with Herbs & Spices : March

Umm yes, you may have noticed, it's not March any more but I totally forgot to post last month's culinary hints and tips from Schwartz as I told you I'd do at the start of the year. But never mind - bearing in mind there were flakes of snow pinging against our cheeks earlier in the week when I took the kids for their eye tests, I figure the year is going through a bit of a time warp and I can still share March's update with you !

Schwartz set the scene rather optimistically : "As the days get longer and evenings become lighter, it's clear that Spring is around the corner ! March is the start of the lamb season and it's also time to celebrate our mums. Check out this month's suggestions on how to make delicious dishes to wow your mum and the whole family."

Hints & Tips

Bread - Combine Garlic Granules and Rosemary with a little Olive Oil, brush lightly on pitta bread, grill then slice and accompany with a dip.

Cabbage - Why not try stir-frying Caraway Seeds with red cabbage and a tablespoon of sour cream for a delicious accompaniment to your roast dinner?

Mussels - Make a simple mussel starter. Fry chopped shallots in a large pan with a little butter, add a large glug of dry white wine along with fresh mussels, Parsley, Tarragon and a little Ground White Pepper. Stir, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mussels open.

Cheese - For a delicious oozing camembert fondue, try sprinkling Thyme over a camembert wheel, then bake in the oven until the cheese has melted. Serve with toasted pittas to dip.

White fish - Mix olive oil, minced garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning and lemon juice for a Spring marinade that's perfect for white fish.

Tomatoes - Don't forget to add a pinch of Celery Salt to your Bloody Mary cocktail.

Tuna - Simply combine tuna and pasta with Schwartz Tuna Napolitana Recipe Mix for a delicate creamy tomato dish with herbs.

Chicken - Bored of the same old roast chicken? Sprinkle the bird with some zesty Lemon Pepper Seasoning and hot Paprika for a bit of a kick.

Chocolate - Spoil your mum with homemade Allspice chocolate truffles. Simply melt 200g plain chocolate and 50g butter in a bowl placed over a pan of hot water. Remove from the heat, stir in 2 egg yolks,, 2tsp allspice and 2tsp rum. Beat until the mixture thickens then place in the fridge until slightly hard. Shape into small balls and toss in chocolate vermicelli to coat.

Recipe : Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb

Thyme and Rosemary flavoured leg of lamb, slow cooked for great flavour and succulence.


1.5kg (3.5lb) leg of lamb, bone in
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp Schwartz Thyme
1 tsp Schwartz Rosemary
250g (9oz) streaky bacon
2 red onions, cut into wedges
2 Schwartz Bay Leaves
500ml (17fl oz) red wine
200ml (7fl oz) water
Schwartz Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season


Pre-heat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3.

Season the leg of lamb well with Salt and Pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and brown the lamb well on all sides.

Transfer to a deep roasting dish and sprinkle over the Thyme and Rosemary.

Top with streaky bacon in a criss-cross formation. Add the red onion wedges and Bay Leaves to the dish and pour over the red wine. Cover the lamb tightly with foil and slow cook in the pre-heated oven for 4-5 hours until the lamb is tender.

remove from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Reduce the cooking liquor in a pan to thicken if necessary. Serve with roast potatoes, green beans and carrots steamed with Cumin seed.

For more information and recipe ideas :

Disclosure : I received a box of Schwartz herbs and spices, along with their A Year of Flavour book, in order to write honest reviews.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

A Year of Flavour with Herbs & Spices : February

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