5 Creative Ways to Use Speciality Leaves

When it comes to culinary adventures, it’s often the little details that make a dish truly exceptional. The world of speciality leaves is vast and varied, offering a myriad of flavours and textures that can transform an ordinary recipe into something extraordinary. If you’re a chef or a food enthusiast looking to add a unique twist to your cooking, you’ll be amazed at the versatility of speciality leaves.

Here are five inventive ways to incorporate them into your cuisine.

Find your nearest stockist of our sustainably-grown speciality leaves here.

1. Create a Vibrant Pesto with Speciality Leaves

Pesto is a versatile sauce that adds freshness and zing to a variety of dishes. Traditionally made with basil, you can use speciality leaves for a distinct and unexpected twist. Our nasturtium leaves bring a peppery kick, while shiso leaves offer a sweet anise aroma. To create a speciality leaf pesto, simply blend the leaves with toasted nuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil. It’s perfect for pasta, fish, or as a dip for a bread basket that will have your guests talking.

2. Wrap it Up with Flavour

Why use plain tortillas when you can add a burst of flavour with speciality leaves? Wasabi leaves offer a delightful spiciness that pairs well with Asian-inspired fillings, while the large, colourful shiso leaves can cradle anything from grilled meats to fresh vegetables. These leaf wraps not only taste great but also add a pop of colour to your plate, making them a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Speciality leaves

3. Infuse Your Drinks and Sauces

Speciality leaves are not just for savoury dishes. They can also add an aromatic dimension to drinks and sweet treats. For an herbal twist to your cocktails and mocktails, steep lemon verbena in gin or vodka, or add lovage to a homemade bloody mary mix. You can also infuse olive herb into a simple syrup for a unique flavour that will make your desserts and fruit salads truly stand out.

4. The Art of Garnishing with Speciality Leaves

Nothing shows off your culinary finesse like a well-chosen garnish. Speciality leaves can serve as a striking and edible decoration. The delicate sweet woodruff adds a subtle vanilla note, while the bold and vibrant apple marigold is perfect for adding a splash of colour to dessert plates. Whether floating atop a soup or sprinkled across a platter, a beautifully placed-garnish can turn a humble dish into a work of art.

Quality Micro Leaf
Dish by Carters of Moseley

5. Surprise with Leafy Desserts

While we’re used to leaves in salads and savoury dishes, they can also be a delightful and surprising addition to sweet treats. Lemon verbena can infuse a crème brûlée with a citrusy fragrance, while the fresh crunch of popcorn shoots can add texture to ice cream or sorbets. Consider using chocolate mint leaves for a rich minty flavour in your brownies or hot cocoa, offering a delectable contrast to the chocolaty sweetness.

By incorporating speciality leaves into your culinary repertoire, you’re not only experimenting with new tastes but also encouraging a more sustainable and varied approach to cooking. With these five creative ideas, you’ll be well on your way to making these unsung heroes of the culinary world the stars of your kitchen.

Ready to kickstart your leafy experience? Check out our selection of speciality leaves here, or find your nearest stockist here and begin your culinary exploration today!