Parmesan and Herb Shortbread Nibbles

Every so often it is good to look at a loved recipe with new eyes and adapt it to suit you.   I had been looking at a clump of lovage that was growing happily away in my garden and wondering what I could do with it.   You may feel the same about those chives, parsley, dill, fennel etc you have in your fridge or growing in your garden.  All would work in this recipe.

I decided to try lovage in these light, cheesy, herby, buttery little biscuits that are ever so moor-ish and perfect with a glass of wine or whatever before you eat your meal.   I often serve them with radishes dipped in butter and salt and marinated olives (the list is endless) and don’t bother with a starter, but the truth is I could eat them at anytime and, because you keep the dough rolled and in the fridge ready for slicing and baking, I often do! 

For those of you that don’t know about lovage, it’s rather a “knock them dead type”  herb in terms of flavour with it’s strong celery/lemon taste.   It pairs really well with lamb stews and, as I’ve recently discovered due to an asparagus glut in my garden, with asparagus and pea soup in which I pair it with mint.  It’s also rather good stirred through cottage cheese or labneh.

Ingredients (makes about 20 biscuits)

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, straight from fridge, diced
  • 50g parmesan, cubed
  • 50g cubedmature cheddar or gruyere
  • 2-3 tbsp lovage or soft herb of choice, ie chives, parsley, fennel, dill etc
  • beaten egg to glaze
  • Optional – sprinkles of choice (I used parmesan but you could use any seed or nut)



  1. Put cheeses and flour into food processor and blitz to a fine crumb.
  2. Add butter and continue blitzing until mixture started to look like sand and just starts to clump together
  3. Add the lovage (or other soft herb) and pulse until combined and then, holding your nerve, turn setting to full on until mixture comes together in a ball.   I promise it will as the fats from cheese and butter will hold it together
  4. Turn mixture out onto work surface and roll into a round cylinder shape about the diameter of when you put tip of index finger to tip of thumb. Wrap up in cling film and put into fridge.  Leave at least 30 mins to firm but up to a week
  5. When ready to bake turn oven on to 180c.
  6. Cut however many biscuits you want from roll into discs about the thickness of a pound coin.
  7. Put onto a baking sheet, spaced widely apart to allow for spreading, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle over the topping of your choice
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden
  9. Allow to cool on a rack so biscuits crisp up.


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