Words Marilyn Wightman of Kiwi Gardener
Wintertime is for replenishing the body and soul by using the harvest gathered in summer is when the old traditional ‘pot herbs’ give their best to soups and casseroles. Medicinally, thyme, sage, rosemary and marjoram (some folk prefer its other name oregano) all contain antiseptic components. Gillian Painter and Carole Fisher in their book Materia Medica of Western Herbs for the Southern Hemisphere describe an antiseptic as “an agent used to prevent, resist and counteract infection”. All good to use in winter food when it is the time of coughs and colds!
Use these herbs fresh or dried. Adding them to any cooked dish gives tasty flavour.
700g firm white fish, cut into 3cm pieces
200g cooked shrimp
1 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 green pepper
½ cup celery
1 carrot, grated
480g tinned tomatoes
Small pottle tomato paste (about 2 Tbsp)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp oregano, chopped (1 tsp dried)
½ cup parsley, chopped
Put 300ml salted water on to boil. Add mussels and cook briefly until the shells open. Retain liquid and remove mussels from shells. Set these aside. Sauté onion and garlic in a large saucepan. Add cut pepper, celery and carrot and sauté for three minutes more. Add tomatoes and paste, herbs and retained mussel liquid. Simmer 10 minutes then add seafood. Simmer a further 15 minutes then add parsley and serve.