Epic Ingredients 1: Italian herb blend

One of the things I love best about travel is the change in culinary scenery. At deli shops and supermarkets, I pick up herbs and ingredients to help replicate dishes at home.

In Naples, I love those little food shops that are so cram-packed full of foodstuffs that you can barely move, once in the door. In one such Aladdin’s Cave of ingredients, I found bags of mixed dried herbs that have revolutionised my Sunday roast chicken and jazzed up a simple spaghetti. Those bags are sadly empty and I am still searching the internet for replacements. Until I find them, here is what they contain:

Dried tomato, dried basil, dried garlic, celery seeds and chives – perfect for creating your own blend and storing in a jar for future use – away from the light.

The instructions on the back of the pack suggest the following simple stir-through spaghetti sauce:

While the spaghetti is boiling in salted water, heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add 5 tablespoons of the above mix and stir until all become golden. Then stir the sauce through the spaghetti and season to taste. (In personal experience, you might find that a bit more oil helps the sauce go further.)

You can also sprinkle this mix on pizza, use it to season a simple tomato sauce or invigorate a roast chicken.

For Epic’s Roast Chicken, stuff the bird with quarters of lemon and about 5 heaped tablespoons of the above mix. Then rub lemon juice and oil into the skin. You should remove the lemons on carving, but you’ll be left with a lemon and herb sauce that makes this chicken tender, tasty and different.

Bon appetit!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. razzbuffnik says:

    “stuff the bird with quarters of lemon ”

    I usually cook chickens this way when I barbeque them in my Webber (a charcoal burning kettle oven). The lemons keep to meat so moist.

    I’ll have to try out the herb mix next time. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  2. epicurienne says:

    MMM, makes me wish I could have- roast chicken for lunch right now! Alas, somehow it just doesn’t go with being Tuesday…


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