sage and chilli shortbread

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As someone who prefers to eat, I’m truly rubbish when it comes to the whole “grow your own” thing (I’m speaking here as someone who’s successfully massacred every plant I’ve ever tended including several cacti). So when we moved into our place and I was faced with an actual garden of my very own, apart from being grateful for the play space for our toddler, I wasn’t really that excited.

However, when those nice people at PlantMeNow sent me a load of bulbs, flowers and herbs; it was perfect timing for our tabula rasa of an outdoor space, so we dug up a few beds and got planting.

Even though I’m battling with various cats, snails and a compost happy 2 yr old, if a plant murderer like myself can nurture a few leaves, I’m pretty sure anyone can. I’ve planted daffodil bulbs which should flower in early spring , some glorious pansies and wallflowers plus oregano, lemon thyme and sage.

This is what our garden looks now. Let’s hope it makes it to springtime….

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I am rather proud, even if the bastard snails are insisting on their little midnight feasts. It’s great not to have to rely on those rubbish packets of crappy supermarket herbs and even the huge bunches in the Turkish shop are nowhere near freshly picked sage or oregano when it comes to flavour.

Our Sunday roast chicken was duly stuffed with great fragrant bunches of the stuff and I also put the sage to excellent use in these savoury shortbread biscuits.

makes approx. 16 biscuits

4-6 tbsp.finely shredded sage leaves

2-3 tsp. harissa or other chilli paste

80g Parmesan grated

40g rice flour

130g plain flour

115g butter

1 tsp. salt

2-3 heaped tsp. nigella seeds

Preheat oven to 150C

beat butter until soft add chilli, salt, sugar, Parmesan and nigella seeds

Add flours and mix to a smooth dough

Roll out to 1cm thick and cut into biscuits

chill for 15 mins

bake for 30 mins until pale gold.

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