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Greenly: Fresh Pickings

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Now that you know how to store fresh herbs, it’s time to put them to use! Here are some simple tips for inventive herb use.

Last week, I reviewed the basics when it comes to storing fresh herbs. Now, it’s time to put them to use. From infusions to pestos, here are a few of my favorite tips for using your favorite aromatics before they even have a chance to go bad!

The word infusion may seem like a complicated buzzword you’d find on a bottle of fizzy water in a gourmet market. Believe it or not, herbal infusions couldn’t be easier to make. Simply follow this foolproof equation: steep the herb of your choice in the liquid of your choice and you’re well on your way. Next time you have a handful of herbs on hand, try one of these combinations.

  • Warm water + mint = Minty fresh cup of tea
  • Freshly squeezed lemonade + rosemary = Rosemary-infused lemonade (Thyme works nicely here, too!)
  • Gin + Cilantro = A modern take on a martini

Saying I’m a pesto fan would be a bit of an understatement. The combination of fresh, fragrant herbs, spicy garlic and fruity olive oil can do no wrong in my book. From the most classic of preparations, to more inventive variations, pesto will perfectly showcase any herb you have on hand. While I tend to pick the parsley plant I’m growing faster than it can possibly grow, there always seems to be an abundance at the green market. So, this recipe for parsley pesto is just one way I make use of this sturdy summertime herb. I love to toss it into pasta, spoon it over grilled veggies, or even spread it on a lunchtime sandwich.

The freezer can be a powerful method of preserving — especially when it comes to fresh herbs. Preserving herbs in olive oil reduces some of the browning and freezer burn that herbs can get in the freezer. Plus, it’s the perfect way to have the taste of fresh herbs on hand at all times, especially in the dead of winter. Think stews, soups or even roasted potato dishes. Try it yourself by placing bits of fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage in ice cube tray, fill with olive oil, place in the freezer, and viola!

How are you using your summertime herb haul? Share your ideas with me below!

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About the Author
Natalie Ghio
Natalie Ghio

Besides composting, I love traveling, yoga, exploring new flavors, supporting local farms, and cooking for friends at my home in Brooklyn.