Fresh Herbs: Cooking and Storage Tips

Fresh herbs add brightness and flavor to any dish, but often you end up with more than your recipe requires. Thanks to our friends at Generation Farms, we’ll always know what to do with the leftovers.

Cooking Tips
  • When using fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, use three times the amount for which the recipe calls.
  • Always rinse herbs, pat dry with paper towel and strip leaves from the stem before using. Use the stems in stocks and soups for additional flavoring.
  • Always add fresh herbs in the last few minutes of cooking to retain their best flavor (except for fresh bay leaves and thyme, which don’t lose their flavor during long cooking).
  • Chopping, mincing or crushing fresh herbs releases their full flavor.
  • Store fresh herbs in a container in your crisper section of the refrigerator. Never store fresh basil below 50 degrees. When you store basil in your refrigerator, put the original container in which the basil came inside one or two larger plastic containers to insulate it from the cold. Basil can also be stored at room temperature if you place the stems in a glass of water and mist the leaves.
Storage Ideas
  • If you don’t plan to use your fresh herbs at once, you can blanch the leaves in boiling water for three to five seconds and refrigerate or freeze. The herbs will retain their nice color.
  • Puree herbs in a blender or food processor with your favorite oil and refrigerate or freeze.
  • Puree herbs with a small amount of water and freeze in ice cube trays. Store ice cubes in a plastic bag and use to season soups, sauces and beverages.
  • Crush herbs and add to 12 ounces of white wine vinegar with a whole peeled clove of garlic. Let steep for a few days to two weeks. Strain and use vinegar in salads, as a marinade, or add to cooking water when steaming vegetables.
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2 Comment(s):

Christine Peterson wrote on 10/22/2014 4:53:37 PM

You can also microwave fresh herbs to dry by placing on a paper towel and microwaving at full power for 1 to 2 minutes. Smaller herbs such as thyme take a shorter time and herbs such as sage take a full 2 minutes or more. After fully dry and crisp herbs can be stripped off stalks, if any, and stored in jars.

audrey raphae; wrote on 3/28/2012 8:15:15 PM

thanks for the info on using and keeping herbs.

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