Just a very quick Monday post from me today! Even though today is a stat here in Canada it still feels like regular Monday for me – running around and trying to get more things done than possible! I’m behind, but determined to catch up at least a little bit while the baby sleeps. Bring on the one handed typing! 😀
So I thought I’d post more of an idea than a recipe today. I know I’ve been posting a lot of recipes using cilantro lately, but usually I use a little bit and then have no idea what to do with the rest so I’ve been using these two methods to make the most of my fresh herbs because I’m awful at letting them go to waste(please tell me I’m not the only one!).
Even if you don’t like cilantro I use this method for saving all kinds of herbs(especially my favorite – fresh basil!). Of course, ones like basil or oregano probably wouldn’t work so well with lime juice but water works just as well to seal in the delicious fresh herb flavor and in soups and a lot of other dishes the extra water doesn’t make a difference. I quite often use lime and cilantro together, in fresh salsas, this red lentil soup and plenty of other dishes, but you could freeze it in water in case you need cilantro without the lime.
Food Doodles’ Tips for Saving Fresh Herbs
- After purchasing or harvesting your fresh herbs, remove any elastics or plastic/paper/metal ties holding the bunch together. Remove any bad looking leaves, either wilted, brown or otherwise looking like they might go bad sooner than the rest of the bunch. Using scissors, chop off the bottom of the stems and place in a glass of water in the fridge for up to a week removing any pieces as they go bad to prolong the life of the rest of the bunch.
- With any leftover fresh herbs or if you don’t plan on using the bunch within a week, roughly chop the herbs, removing any tough stems and discarding. Place herbs in a food processor or mini food processor(or use an immersion blender) with just enough water to cover the herbs. Blend until no especially large pieces remain(small pieces are fine). Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid before placing in a well labelled airtight container or bag. Use within 3 months.
- Some herbs can be dried, like rosemary or thyme, just by hanging them upside down in a dry place until completely dry, or by placing them in a food dehydrator for just an hour or two(depending on the herb). Of course not all herbs taste the same once dried and the flavor of many(like basil and cilantro) is preferred fresh or frozen rather than dried.
Lime Cilantro Cubes
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 2-4 limes juiced(enough juice that the cilantro blends smoothly – or substitute water)
Place in a food processor or mini food processor(or use an immersion blender) and blend until no large pieces remain. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid before placing in a well labeled airtight container or bag. Store in the freezer until ready to add to salsas, soups or entrees calling for lime juice and cilantro. Use within 3 months.
I want to hear from you! What other tips do you have for saving or making the most of fresh herbs?