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Hedgerow Cookbook

25 24 Herbs and flowers can be added to salads, fruit salads, sauces, cakes, bread, nut roasts, quiches, stirfries, vegetable and fruit flans, omelettes, salad dressings, oils and vinegars, soups and casseroles. As a general rule add herbs at the beginning for soups and casseroles, and near the end for sauces and stir fries. Edible flowers make a wonderful splash of colour and lend an interesting taste. Use them for garnishes and float them in summer drinks. Chop some herbs. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Beat into the butter until it is a smooth paste. In a frying pan gently fry a medium onion and slices of garlic in olive oil. Add a cup of rice and cook briefly. Remove from the heat and add two cups of vegetable stock and half a glass of wine. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in a cup of finely chopped herbs and flowers, and add black pepper. Cover and let the pan stand for 23 minutes without further heat. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a garnish of freshly picked flowers. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add 3 tablespoons of plain flour. Roast on medium heat, turning constantly until golden. Remove from heat and very gradually add a pint of milk, and some water mixed with half a stock cube. Occasionally return to the heat, and keep stirring constantly as you add the milk, until smooth and creamy. Season to taste. To the basic white sauce add half a cup of chopped herbs and a tablespoon of soya sauce just before serving.
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