18 Brigham Creek Road
Whenuapai
Auckland 0618
New Zealand
The Herb Patch
Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food

Angelica Shiny Leaf

(Angelica Pachycarpa)

There are many varieties of angelica and almost all varieties possess medicinal values and each seems to have its own unique healing properties.  

Angelica is not one of those mainstream herbs. Some species are used for culinary purposes and some are sold for ornamental purposes only. All angelica seems to have a licorice-like scent and flavour.  

We used to grow Angelica Archangelica which is suitable for culinary purposes but since most of our customers are using the angelica for decorative purposes we decided to replace Angelica Archangelica with Angelica Pachycarpa, more commonly known as Angelica Shiny Leaf.  

When we were growing Angelica Archangelica, I used the angelica to flavour my roast vegetables – I simply chopped up the angelica leaves with the stem and tossed it into my roast vegetables with the oil and pepper. I also used angelica leaves with baked fish – just lined the angelica leaves on the baking tray, put the fish on top with a small knob of butter, a couple slices of red chili and a couple of slices of lime and baked it in the oven for approximately 10 mins to 12 mins. 

The above picture shows our young Angelica Shiny Leaf crop. We have put mulch around each plant to keep the moisture in, as angelica plants thrive in that environment. This particular batch took about 8 weeks to germinate into seedling. The first leaves were rounded and the serrated edges are not obvious. It takes months to get established. However, once the angelica plant is established, they are quite hardy and will continue to produce beautiful fresh green leaves for 2 to 3 years. 

Angelica Shiny Leaf is such a beautiful plant with bright shiny leaves, no wonder it is popular for decoration. We would love to learn from you if you know other uses for this angelica. 

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Apparently there are more than 50 varieties of angelica and almost all varieties possess medicinal values and each has its own unique healing properties. Angelica archangelica is known as European Angelica.

For me, I use Angelica to flavour my roast vegetables – I simply chopped up the angelica leaves with the stem, toss into my roast vegetables with the oil and pepper. I also use angelica leaves with baked fish – just lined the angelica leaves on the baking tray, put the fish on top with a small knob of better, a couple of slices of red chillie and a couple of slices of lime and bake in the oven – approximately 10 mins to 12 mins.

The above picture shows our young angelica crop. We have put mulch around each plant to keep the moisture in, as angelica plants do well in moist soil. This particular batch took about 8 weeks to germinate into seedling. The first leaves were rounded and the serrated edges are not obvious. It takes months to get established. However, once the angelica plant is established, they are quite hardy and will continue to produce beautiful fresh green leaves for 2 to 3 years.

Angelica is such a beautiful plant, no wonder it is popular for decoration. We would love to learn from you if you know of other uses of Angelica.


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Basil

(Ocimum basilicum ‘Marian’ and Ocimum basilicum ‘Emily’) 

Basil is one of our most popular herbs. Our Basil Marian and Basil Emily are a high quality and highly attractive basil in the Genovese family. Both have a traditional taste which is slightly peppery with a hint of sweetness. Basil Marian has smaller leaves and Basil Emily has medium to large leaves. Both varieties are popular with chefs and home cooks alike. 

Basil is a perfect match for any tomatoes based dishes and also can be added to soup and stews. It can also be eaten raw and is terrific when tossed into pasta, added to salads and mixed with tuna as a sandwich spread. 

Most people are familiar with basil pesto which is made with basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts or cashew nuts and Parmesan cheese. 

One of my favourite sandwiches is basil pesto chicken sandwich with a couple slices of fresh tomatoes on top sprinkled with a round of crushed rock salt. Mmmm – yum!

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Basil is a perfect match for any tomatoes based dishes and also can be added to soup and stews. Basil can also be eaten raw and fresh Basil is terrific tossed with pasta, added to salads and mixed with tuna as a sandwich spread.

Most people are familiar with Basil Pesto which is made with basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts or cashew nuts and Parmesan cheese.

One of my favourite sandwiches is basil pesto chicken sandwich with a couple of slices of fresh tomatoes. To top it off, I sprinkle a round of crushed rock salt on the fresh tomato. Hmmm – yum!


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Bay Leaves

(Laurus nobilis)

One of the most popular use of bay leaf  is in a “bouquet garni”. A bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs that is tied together with string and placed into a stock, sauce or stew whilst cooking. It is used to add flavour to the dish and the bundle is removed before serving and discarded.

Bay leaves can help reduce the formation of gas and bloating after a heavy meal. It is suggested that a cup of bay leaf tea may be helpful for people with poor digestion.

To prepare bay leaf tea, add the bay leaves and water to a pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil for 3 minutes then remove the pot from the heat and let the tea steep for 4 minutes. Drink the tea before it gets cold. Use 1 medium bay leaf per cup of water.

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Chives

(Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives are another versatile herb that can be used in just about any type of cuisine. Most people who cannot tolerate onions seem to take chives well. They are abundant in summer but slow growing in winter.

They freeze really well as they don’t stick together, so you may want to consider freezing the summer stock for a continuous supply throughout the year. Just use scissors to cut it into small strips and put into a container for freezing. Even though we have it in our farm throughout the year, I actually find the freezing method really convenient.

It is great on egg omelets, in soups, and you can also add chives to your garlic butter. Sprinkle chives as a garnish over mashed or boiled potato, make a sour cream and chives dip, add to tuna for sandwich filling; the list is endless.

Chives are best eaten raw as cooking reduces its flavour.

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Dill

(Anethum graveolens)

Fresh dill is growing rapidly in popularity because of its versatility and its delicately attractive leaf structure for use as a garnish. Although it is recommended for seafoods it actually goes very well with many other dishes. Dill is used worldwide and is especially popular in European cuisine. We grow a European variety which was selected for its high essential oil content which gives a strong aromatic fragrance.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

I learned to appreciate Dill from a European gentleman and I now use it frequently for its flavour and as a garnish. I particularly like it on my soup. Just chopped up the dill and add it to the soup just before serving. It instantly adds appeal and flavour. Just sprinkle some dill to the most basic soup, e.g., potato and leek soup and note the difference it makes.

Dill is nice raw and the chopped leaves can be added to any raw vegetable salad especially cucumber. Dill helps to improve the appetite and digestion.


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