Add some flavour to your food with these tips

Add some flavour to your food with these tips

We all know that food is all the more delicious and flavoursome when enhanced with herbs and seasoning, and though over 75 percent of us buy herbs at least once a month, some can be guilty of using a few sprigs and allowing the remainder of the bunch to wilt away in the depths of our kitchens.

With over half of us feeling we would like to start growing our own herb gardens at home, it can be tough to know how best to begin incorporating the nation’s most popular herbs such as basil and mint into your cooking without wasting any leftovers.

In fact, it’s for this very reason that a quarter of the nation avoids buying fresh herbs at all.

Recent research from Boursin reveals that more than two thirds of us feel that herbs take our cooking to the next level and so you could be missing a very tasty trick if you’re relying solely on salt and pepper to season your dishes.

In celebration of Boursin’s partnership with the charity Thrive, Boursin has teamed up with TV chef and restaurateur Marcus Bean to create a selection of simple handy hints and tips designed to help you on your way to seasoning success. 

Marcus Bean’s Tips for Cooking with Herbs:

Herb Storage

  • Clean J-Cloths are perfect for storing freshly picked or bought herbs. Just run your cloth under cold water, squeeze out the excess water, open up the cloth, lay your herbs inside and roll up. You can store this in the fridge – just make sure to re-dampen your cloth if it becomes dry to ensure your herbs stay fresh for as long as possible

Drying Fresh Herbs

  • If you are not using all of your fresh herbs or have too many in the garden put them in bunches, tie around the stalks and hang upside down in your kitchen or utility room until completely dry. Once dry crumble into jars and use whenever you require – just sprinkle onto roast potatoes, vegetables, meat or fish before cooking. You can even try mixing a selection of dried herbs together to make your own flavoured herb mix.

Flavoured Butters and Oils

  • Flavoured butters can be a great way to preserve herbs for longer and they are incredibly versatile for cooking with. Chop your fresh herbs (basil, tarragon and garlic will work nicely) and mix with butter, before using your hands to roll the butter into long sausage shapes using clingfilm and wrapping tightly. Your butter can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks (or the use by ‘best before’ date), or you can slice into portions and freeze – either way flavoured butter tastes great spread on fresh bread or on top of sizzling steaks
  • Olive or rapeseed oils can also be infused with herbs to create dressings – the best herbs to use for this tend to be mint, rosemary and lemon thyme. Steep the herbs for 2-3 weeks in airtight jars or bottles, before draining and decanting for use when required


  • Store basil in your fridge and it will turn brown and go off. If your basil is fresh keep it in a tub in your kitchen, or if it is potted keep it on your window sill so it gets sunlight and make sure it is kept watered
  • Basil bruises easily and so you shouldn’t chop it as you do other herbs. Instead, take a few leaves at a time, roll tightly and carefully slice to get a chiffonade of basil
  • To save waste, use leftover leaves and stalks for butters, oils and vinegars
  • Combine basil, mint, parsley and coriander with garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and oil to create your own home made pesto. Whizz the ingredients together in a blender and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once complete store in a jar in your fridge and enjoy for up to 3-4 weeks. Use a spoonful in cooked pasta or risotto for a delicious dinner party dish
  • Basil also works well for sweet recipes – to create basil infused cream simply warm the cream with basil leaves and allow to cool overnight. Once cool, strain the cream and use for making fools, custard, crème brulee and panacotta. Basil also goes well with strawberries


  • Mint ice cubes are a great addition to any drink – simply half-fill your ice tray with water, add mint leaves and freeze for 30-60 minutes. When frozen top up your trays with additional water to seal the leaves and replace in the freezer
  • Chopped fresh mint is great for sprucing up your salads and giving a fresh and vibrant flavour

Growing Your Own Herbs

  • Herbs are not difficult to grow and almost all can be planted outside (apart from basil which is best suited to an inside pot or greenhouse). The easiest herbs to start growing are basil, chives, mint, rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage since they require the least maintenance
  • If you do not have space for a herb garden, plant herbs as borders on paths or driveways, or use pots and hanging baskets. If you have only the space for one pot use a strawberry pot so you can plant different herbs in each section of the pot
  • Remember to trim your herbs on a regular basis to stimulate the growth of new shoots

Marcus Bean said: “Growing and using fresh herbs in your cooking is a really simple way to improve the taste of the food you’re creating in the kitchen. It’s great to see Thrive’s Battersea Garden Project spreading the joy of gardening and cultivating fresh ingredients with those in the local community who have been affected by disability and ill health with Boursin’s support”.

Boursin has teamed up with TV chef and restaurateur Marcus Bean to share his top hints and tips for cooking with herbs, in support of Boursin’s charity partnership with Thrive. 

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