Nature’s finest seasonings are at their fresh and flavorful peak and perfect for your table!
More so than almost any other ingredient, fresh herbs must be added with great calculation for their delicate potency. In recipes, cut and cook fresh herbs as late in the process as possible. As elsewhere in life, freshness fades all too quickly!
To Stem or Not To Stem?
The stems on fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro are soft and can be used. Simply place the bunch on a cutting board and chop with a sharp knife.
Thyme and rosemary have woody stems you don’t want to use. To remove the leaves in one quick motion, hold the top of each stem with one hand then strip off the leaves with the fingertips of your other hand.
Mint, oregano, tarragon and sage also have unusable stems, which should be discarded. The leaves of these herbs can be easily pinched off one at a time.
Fresh Cut—Then What?
“Herbs and spices are the soul of your kitchen.”
Shake herbs quickly under cold running water and dry on paper towels.
Large bunches such as parsley and cilantro can be washed ahead of time, wrapped loosely in a wet paper towel, and stored in a zip lock plastic bag.
Ready to harvest, rinse, chop and create? Try this Mixed Herb Pesto Sauce…as a dip, tossed with fresh tomatoes, slathered on toasted baguette slices or atop grilled fish or chicken; pasta toss; pizza topping…possibilities too many to list!
MIXED HERB PESTO SAUCE
4 Tablespoons chopped pine nuts
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
3 Tablespoons shredded arugula
3 Tablespoons chopped chives
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon [or more] extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon vegetable broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender container and puree until smooth. Serve. Makes about 1 cup. Enjoy!