It’s time to use up everything in the garden so we asked Toronto chefs about their ‘desert island’ herb
With little but brassicas still thriving in the garden and frost warnings putting gardeners across Toronto on edge, it’s time to haul in all the tender herbs. Soon, it will be pesto-city, and that’s the basil taken care of, but what about all the other flavourful greens too good to waste?
Executive Chef Jason Bangerter, is mad about herbs, and he is blessed with a culinary garden of delights. Just outside his kitchen at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, near Cambridge, Ontario, the chef can stroll through his gardens picking and plucking any number of tasty, super fresh things. “I have fallen in love with, not only herbs, but their beautiful, delicious flowers as well,” says Bangerter. “Three of my absolute favourite and reoccurring obsessions have been with bronze fennel, chive blossom, and gem marigold.”
Langdon Hall’s gardening team use marigolds as natural pest control in the garden. “It’s citrusy sweet and reminds me of candy, think: orange or tangerine, flavoured gummy bears! I use the vibrant yellow and orange flowers as well as the plant’s leafy greens in many ways: in sugar and salt cures and marinades for vegetable, fish and seafood dishes; to flavour teas, cakes, cookies, creams, vinaigrettes and stocks; in both savoury and sweet recipes; or simply tossed fresh from the garden into salads or as garnish for a dish that benefits from the fresh citrus flavour of the plant.”
“At the end of the season we transplant some of our marigolds to the greenhouse to keep them going through the winter and any remaining plants I often make preserves with – marigold jam; infused sugar and oil, cures, and syrups – so that none of the plants go to waste and to give us some of that summer fresh citrus flavour throughout the