save the herbs! tips and tricks on what to do with leftovers or extras

Tonight, I made homemade salsa to go with our dinner.  Yum–bring on the cilantro!  I find, however, that when I buy a bundle of cilantro, we end up eating half right away, then it starts to rot if I don’t watch out.  Made me start

fresh basil and oregano on the farm

brainstorming about how I could save that cilantro or other fresh herbs that I don’t want to turn to compost sludge in the lower drawer of my fridge.

Here’s a list of ideas that I’ve tried or read about recently, including some great stuff from Pinterest.  I encourage you to spend some time searching for instructions that suit you and your resources the best.

  • Chop and freeze with a little oil (keeps them from browning) then freeze in ice cube trays or small containers.  These work well for sauces, pasta recipes, fish, etc.   Do the same with water and herbs for soups, drinks, and baked goods.
  • Dehydrate using  an oven on a low temp or in a food dehydrator.  Then herbs can be used for making tea, sachets, and crumbling up for cooking/baking.
  • Infuse to create flavored vinegar, oils, or simple syrup.
  • Combine with other herbs and some epsom salts, tie in a 8’x8′ piece of cheesecloth or muslim, then use to make relaxing “bath tea.”
  • Process with oil and some type of nut and cheese and create an interesting pesto
  • Sprinkle on top of tomorrow’s lunch or dinner
  • Stir into ice cream or yogurt
  • Blend with butter, cream cheese, sour cream, soft cheese, or greek yogurt for an gourmet spread
basil, lemon balm, and oregano at the end of the summer

Any other great ideas?  Please feel free to comment and share. I’m always looking for ways to enjoy my herbs–other than creating compost with them, of course!

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