Whether you plant them or pick them up at the grocery store or farmers’ market, adding fresh herbs is a quick way to transform ordinary dishes into extraordinary dishes. In addition to adding flavor, herbs may offer hidden health benefits. Many culinary herbs contain antioxidants that help protect against cancer and heart disease. So, take a little thyme (pun intended) to experiment in the kitchen with fresh herbs.
When to Pick or Purchase Herbs
The ideal time for picking home grown herbs is in the morning, after the dew has dried but before the sun gets hot. This helps ensure the best flavor and storage quality. When buying, purchase herbs close to the time you plan to use them.
Storing Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs can be stored in an open or a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer for a few days. If you don’t have access to commercial perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a regular plastic bag. You can also put them in water in a glass or small vase for several days.
Substituting Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs
As a general guideline, when using fresh herbs in a recipe use 3 times as much as you would use of a dried herb.