Strawberries with herbs and hay

Tommy Banks’ strawberries with herbs and hay

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Tommy Banks' from The Great British Menu and head chef at The Black Swan, Oldstead, has given us some of his best recipes. This strawberries with herbs and hay dessert is the perfect way to end your dinner party, delicately sweet, creamy and super refreshing



  • strawberries 400g, hulled
  • soft herbs - basil, mint, tarragon a small bunch, picked to serve

Hay ice cream

  • hay 20g, snipped into 2.5cm-long pieces
  • whole milk 300ml
  • whipping cream 300ml
  • egg yolks 100g (around 5-6 large yolks)
  • caster sugar 60g

Herb sugar

  • soft herbs 10g, basil, mint, tarragon
  • caster sugar 100g

Herb shortbread

  • butter 100g, soft
  • plain flour 150g


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Spread the hay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until fragrant. Add the milk and cream to a pan and  bring to the boil.

  • Step 2

    Add the hay, remove from the heat, cover and leave for 1 hour. Strain. Add 450ml of the milk/cream to a pan with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.

  • Step 3

    Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Pour the boiling millk over the eggs, whisking all the time.

  • Step 4

    Return the mixture to the pan and cook, stirring all the time, until it coats the back of a spoon. Strain and cool. Churn and freeze in an ice-cream machine.

  • Step 5

    For the herb sugar, whizz the herbs and sugar to a purée in a food processor.

  • Step 6

    Spread onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave at room temperature for an hour until dry, then whizz in the blender again.

  • Step 7

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. To make the shortbread, beat the butter and 60g of the herb sugar together in a bowl with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.

  • Step 8

    Fold in the flour with a pinch of salt to make a dough. Roll out until 5mm thick and transfer onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

  • Step 9

    Chill for 20 minutes, then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

  • Step 10

    Toss the strawberries with 40g of the herb sugar and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

  • Step 11

    Divide between bowls, crumble over some of the shortbread, add scoops of ice cream and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Use feeding hay not bedding hay – on sale in pet shops and garden centres. Any leftover shortbread will keep for a week in a sealed container.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 612
  • Fat 40.6g
  • Saturates 23.5g
  • Carbs 52.4g
  • Sugars 33.1g
  • Fibre 3.5g
  • Protein 7.5g
  • Salt 0.5g