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How to Prepare Fresh Herbs

So, you've successfully grown your own herbs. Great! Now what? Earlier this week we recommended some great vegetarian dishes to showcase your fresh herbs:

And now here are some tips for preparing them in a way that will show them off to greatest effect!

Vegetarian Bangers and Mash

Washing Fresh Herbs

Wash herbs and leave them to air dry in a colander before using, but make sure they are dry before you start to chop, otherwise you will end up with a green mush.

Waste Not

If you decide to remove parsley or coriander stalks, save them for making your own soup stock.

Use fresh herbs to garnish a soup

The Golden Ratio

As you prepare the herbs, keep them in separate bowls as you will likely want to add them in different proportions. For cauliflower tabouleh, for example, I use twice as much parsley as mint and coriander.

To Chop...

With a large chef’s knife, pile the herbs into the middle of your board and with your left hand on top of the blade, chop backwards and forwards over the herbs. Or use a mezzaluna. If you're like me and enjoy seeing the leaves in your dishes, don’t chop too finely.

How to Chop Fresh Herbs

...Or Not To Chop

Basil doesn’t like being chopped as it bruises the delicate leaves. It’s best to gently tear the leaves instead. Or roll them up and chiffonade with a very sharp knife.

Chopping Fresh Herbs By Hand

To make salsa and pesto, I do like to use a pestle and mortar rather than a food processor.

Storing Fresh Herbs

The best way to store fresh herbs is un-chopped in a loose plastic bag in the fridge crisper. If you stick herbs in a jar of water, you end up with rotting, smelly stalks. And you wouldn't do that to your own herbs!

How to Use Fresh Herbs

Let us know if you have any questions about preparing herbs.

Or is there something we forgot?

That's what comments are for, and we value your input!

Comment here or chat with us on Facebook and Twitter.

And for more herby inspiration, check out our post: 4 Herbs to Grow at Home

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