Cooking tips for the caring cook.
Get flavor for your healthful foods from herbs, citrus zests, shallots, ginger, scallions and interesting combinations of salad greens.
- Store freshly cut herbs in bunches in the refrigerator with the herb stems in water. Pat excess water from the herb leaves with paper toweling.
- Note: Don't automatically throw out the stems of herbs after you cut off the leaves. Mince the stems finely and use your herbs to flavor sauces, soups, and stews. If you can't use the herbs right away, freeze them.
- Freezing: Cut stems or leaves of the herbs, rinse, pat dry and freeze in resealable bags. You can also freeze chopped herbs in ice cube trays with water. After they freeze remove them and store in bags. This is good for using in soups.
- Drying: Cut whole branches of the herb plant and tie with string or rubber bands. Hang in a dry, clean place such as an enclosed shed or attic. You can place paper sacks over the herbs as well while they are hanging to avoid dust. When they are dry, crumble into a glass or plastic container and store in a dry, cool location. You can also dry in a very low temperature in the oven on cookie sheets. Watch carefully and turn often.
- Microwave: You can dry herbs in your microwave, but it's slow and time consuming. However, it does work! Line the turntable with paper towels. Place the herb leaves on the table so they aren't touching. Microwave for one minute; check and then try 30 seconds at a time until they are dry to the touch. Some herbs take less time, some more. When dry, crumble into containers.