Preparation and storage are key when cooking with fresh herbs.

Preparation

Wash herbs when you are ready to use them. Shake off moisture or spin dry in a salad spinner. Pat off any remaining moisture with clean paper towels.

For most recipes, unless otherwise directed, mince herbs into tiny pieces. Chop with a chef’s knife on a cutting board or snip with kitchen scissors.

Unlike dried herbs, fresh herbs are usually added toward the end in cooked dishes to preserve their flavor.

Storing Herbs

Fresh herbs can be stored in an open or a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator for a few days.

After washing, you can mince the herbs and place them halfway up in the sections of an ice-cube tray. Cover herbs with cold water and freeze until solid.

Transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag. Drop them into soups, stews, and sauces as needed.

Some Other Ways To Use Herbs

Add fresh herbs to a mixed green salad.

Add a big handful of fresh herbs to a basic mixture of equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil, stir and then remove from the heat. Once completely cooled, strain out the herbs (discard) and use the simple syrup to sweeten iced coffee or tea and cocktails.

Fresh herbs are perfect in salad dressings and vinaigrettes. They round out the fatty and sharp flavors from the oil and vinegar.

Combine finely chopped herbs and room-temperature butter to make a spread that compliments bread or cooked meat or vegetables.

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Herb Dip

  • Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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A great party dip with lots of fresh summer vegetables and pita chips.


Note: It is best to process all the ingredients in the food processor with the exception of the yogurt, for the best consistency. Use either whole or low-fat Greek yogurt and mayonnaise (but don’t use nonfat).

Recipe shared by: Jovina Coughlin


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Process mayonnaise, shallot, chives, basil and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover dip and refrigerate until thickened, at least 1 hour. Dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days.

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Herb Coated Pork Cutlets

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe shared by: Jovina Coughlin

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup finely minced herbs (any combination of thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, sage, chives, parsley)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 pork cutlets (about 1/4 inch thick and each weighing about 4 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges

Directions:

  1. Combine the herbs, fennel, and salt in a shallow dish. Place the flour in a second shallow dish. Pat chops dry with paper towels.
  2. Trim the cutlets of fat and pound them lightly with a meat mallet to make them uniform in thickness. Press the herbs on both sides of the cutlets and then dredge the cutlets in the flour (do not discard flour).
  3. Transfer to a plate and let rest 10 minutes. Dredge cutlets in the flour a second time just before cooking.
  4. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the pork cutlets until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges.

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