Putting the Tastes Together, Do You Use Fresh Herbs?

Please share with your friends

One of the fun things about working in a large kitchen is the ability to go into the walk-in (refrigerator) and grab any fresh herb that you need to work with. How does the song go; “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.” Fresh herbs are tremendous for getting the seasoning of your soups and sauces just right. Whether it is fresh ginger for that Thai peanut sauce or fresh thyme for your vegetable medley.

In a high volume kitchen we go through literally pounds of fresh herbs each week.  Cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, dill and mint.  We use fresh herbs in all our sauces and marinates, as you would expect of any kitchen worth its salt.  Vietnamese spring-rolls with fresh cilantro and mint are awesome.  Any cut of beef marinated in infused herb oil is fantastic. Fresh pesto with its bright green color is a marvelous addition to salads, Italian pasta dishes, cream cheese or mayonnaise for dips and spreads. Don’t forget Cilantro pesto for the spicy Mexican dishes.

You probably would not want to purchase your fresh herbs by the pound as they have a very short shelf life.  However, there are lots of things you can do to extend the shelf life and keep those flavors around for a much longer time. Here are a few suggestions.

img307

  • Make an “Infused Oil”. Take an ounce each of Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, Parsley and mince them finely. Add 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic, a few shallots minced finely. Put all of these together in a sealable container and add a 25 ounce bottle of light olive oil or an olive canola blend. Let the container sit in the refrigerator for 3 days. You now have a marinate for beef and chicken. You can also use this for sautés of fresh vegetables.  This will keep for 6 months in a sealed container.
  • Flavored vinegars. A gallon of basic distilled white vinegar costs less than $5.00. Take the vinegar and pour it into 5 wine bottles (thoroughly rinsed with corks) add 1 ounce of your favorite fresh herb to the bottle by putting the whole stems directly into the bottle.  Cork them and store them in a cool dark place for 3 weeks. You now have your very own flavored vinegar inventory. Thyme, Tarragon, Rosemary, Basil and Dill are all excellent candidates for this.
  • Freezing your herbs. If you find a deal on a larger quantity of Dill or Tarragon; these can be frozen in smaller quantities for later use.  In the case of Tarragon you will need to lightly blanch the stems for about a minute, then store in small zip-lock bags for future use.  For Dill just lightly chop it and freeze in quantities you expect to use.
  • Drying your Herbs. Last but not least the more delicate herbs can be dried.  Any time that you have a large quantity of herbs that are heading over the hill they can be dried by simply spreading them on a cookie sheet and setting your oven to its lowest setting.  Put them in the oven at less than 200 degrees for a couple of hours.  Then crumble the dried herbs into a storage container that can be tightly sealed and you have a six month supply.

img305 img308img306

When ever I have some serious mincing to do I like to use two knives at the same time!

Cooking with fresh herbs is a delight.  In most cases you cannot overdo the flavors.  Thyme and Basil are good examples of this.  Other herbs like Oregano and Rosemary can be very strong so you need to be careful with your quantities.  Do you use fresh herbs in your cooking?  Let me know in the comments, I would love to explore the ideas.

Michael Brown

Would you like a year around supply of fresh herbs for your kitchen? You can easily grow your own fresh herbs at home.  Find out how with a kit and DVD instructions.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
StumbleUpon It!

Technorati Tags: Cooking with Fresh Herbs, Herb Flavored Vinegars, Herb Infused Oils, Using Fresh Herbs

About the author

Michael Brown

Diana@Madison Personal Injury Lawyer - March 2, 2012

I think your suggestion is very helpful for maitaining or extending the shelf life of the fresh herb for your food. I saw an organize way to organize your fresh herbs, I suggest that you buy a bottle that is sealed very tight to avoid air exposure that causes your herbs to dry easily. Label it with their names, it must be a good looking row of herbs on your kitchen.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
rachel@dividend advantage - February 20, 2012

I really like sprinkling a little bit of fresh herbs into a salad. I can really give a plain salad just that little bit of extra flavor.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
    Michael Brown - February 20, 2012

    Rachel;
    I think that I could eat basil by the handful. I really enjoy caprese type salads with tomato and mozzarella and loads of fresh basil.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
Maxwell windlass - November 24, 2011

Very nice recipe and so good instruction even products. Thank you for share with us such a good info.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
scrap steel prices michigan - November 21, 2011

I like my herbs fresh and i like your ideea with “Make an “Infused Oil” and “Freezing your herbs” i will try them to see what are the resoults and them come back with a feedback see ya

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
cottage cheese recipes - October 27, 2011

I like my herbs fresh and i like your ideea with “Make an “Infused Oil” and “Freezing your herbs” i will try them to see what are the resoults and them come back with a feedback :P
see ya

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
gainesville tx restaurants - October 5, 2011

Hi There Greatcookingtoday,
Thanks for that Many people think that when they receive flower arrangements, they will only last for a couple of days. Actually, fresh flowers can last much longer than that, between one and two weeks. Proper care of fresh flowers can help them last longer and enable them to blossom and become even more beautiful than when they were received. This is possible because fresh flowers are often cut before they reach their blooming potential. Therefore, when you receive them, you can do a few things that will help them reach their potential and make them last longer as well.
Keep up the good work

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Uraiwan@kitchen knife storag - January 25, 2011

Thanks for the great idea to keep the vegetables are always fresh.
Vegetables, but my time and then refrigerated vegetable rinse very sore.
Is there a way to modify how

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...

Comments are closed


This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.
Get Adobe Flash player
%d bloggers like this: