from one generation to the next
It’s 12 months since we relocated to Brisbane. I had grand plans for my balcony garden then, declaring that I’d only grow edibles. Reality hit home when the tomatoes failed to flower, radishes only grew leaves and numerous pots of herbs robust by nature failed to thrive. Food crops need a lot more sunshine than they’ll ever get on my balcony.
Essentially it’s a room without a wall at the northern end, so in winter it’s flooded with sunshine, in summer all it gets is a narrow sliver hard against the half glazed edge. I’ve decided to embrace the tropical rainforest understory look and fill the shady space with palms, ferns and impatiens. Miraculously the basil, mint and parsley I planted last summer have continued to flourish behind the glass throughout our mild winter so that sunny strip at the northern boundary hopefully will continue to be the perfect aspect for essential herbs.
It was time to cut them hard, spring growth comes early in Brisbane so an Asian style coleslaw seemed like the perfect place for the colander laden with beautiful young mint, Vietnamese mint and basil leaves.
I find a razor sharp mandolin an indispensable tool when cutting vegetables for salad.
SE Asian Coleslaw
1/2 small wombok ( Napa cabbage), finely shredded
1 large carrot, but into fine julienne
6 radishes, very felt sliced
Large handful young tender mint leaves
Large handful young tender Vietnamese mint leaves
Large handful basil leaves
Large handful coriander leaves
Small bunch garlic chives, finely snipped
1 long red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
Toss the vegetables and herbs together in a bowl.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together to dissolve the sugar.
Just before serving toss the dressing through the salad.
Serves 2 generously