Fresh Herbs

Availability

  • Fresh herbs are available year round with peak season commencing in late spring, summer and ending in early fall.
  • Fresh herbs can be grown indoors all year round.

Purchasing

  • Choose fresh, bright green herbs. Avoid brown edges and wilted leaves.

Storage

  • Similar to a bunch of flowers, place, cilantro, parsley and mint stem-down in a glass of water. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate up to a week.
  • Wrap other herbs in damp paper towel in a loose fitting plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Wash herbs just before using and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Freeze chopped or puréed leaves with a little water in ice cube trays. When frozen, pop out and store in freezer bags. When you need to add fresh herb flavour, simply reach for a cube.

Drying Fresh Herbs For Long Term Storage:

  • Natural Drying: Tie plants in bunches and hang upside down in a warm, well-ventilated area. After herbs dry, strip leaves and throw away steams.
  • Oven Drying: Place leaves on a shallow pan or baking sheet in an open oven at low heat (about 180° F) for 2 to 4 hours. Remove, let cool and store in glass jar.
  • Microwave Drying: Place clean leaves on a paper plate or paper towel in microwave and cook 1 to 3 minutes, mixing every 30 seconds.

Preparation / Cooking

  • Snip herbs into small pieces with scissors and sprinkle over dish.
  • To easily slice fresh basil, parsley or mint, stack several leaves on top of one another. Roll the stack lengthwise into a cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder crosswise at close intervals to form fine shreds.
  • When adding fresh herbs to a warm dish, add near the end of cooking time.
  • When adding fresh herbs to a cold dish, cover and refrigerate for several hours to blend flavours.

Fresh and Dried herbs are interchangeable in most recipes. Use 1 tsp. dried herbs for 1 tbsp. of fresh.

Dried Herbs

Storage

  • Store for 1 to 2 years as they lose their flavour and potency overtime.
  • Store in well sealed glass container or plastic food storage bag in cool, dry place. Heat and light will both decrease the potency of flavour.

Herbs and Spices