Herbs are a delicious way to flavour a dish. As the weather cools, the options get richer.
As the seasons change, different herbs come into play. The delicious summer flavours of basil, lemongrass and coriander move over to make way for the heartier flavours of sage, rosemary, tarragon and parsley.
Sage isn't such a commonly used herb but the beautiful grey-green oval leaves deliver a uniquely savoury flavour that pairs well with silverbeet and blue cheese and it is delicious fried.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan until the oil just begins to shimmer - drop in a few sage leaves, let them fry for 15 seconds then remove and place on paper towels.
The taste of the sage highlights the flavour of the sharp but creamy blue goat cheese in the recipe for the silverbeet tart. If you have some time, follow the recipe for some home-made pastry, or buy an alternative made with butter.
Fresh sage leaves are also delicious in a toasty cheese sandwich, and go well with pork and game.
It is hard to imagine not having rosemary within reach most days. It grows easily all year round and suits some of the more hearty dishes we begin to enjoy as the weather cools. It has a very distinctive, strong flavour but roast lamb, vegetables and chicken would be lost without it.
Mint is a hardy, versatile plant that will grow easily in a pot or in the garden. It can be an instant tea infusion with a little honey or a lively addition to a salad, and today I have paired it with the flavours of orange and pear.
Simmering a handful of leaves with some sugar and water makes for a delectable syrup that can be poured over fruit and when paired with a big fat dollop of rich buffalo yoghurt, this makes for an easy, delicious dessert.
If you are unable to grow your own, buy herbs in small quantities. Make sure they have intense colour with no yellowing or wilting. Herbs are best stored with their stems in water, in the fridge.