Using Herbs

Want to use fresh herbs, but are not sure how to get started? Have extra herbs that you want to use later? Here you will find tips on how to pick, chop, dry and freeze your herbs, along with other helpful hints for using herbs.

  • If you have fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, use three times as much as the recipe calls for. (⅓ of a teaspoon of dried herbs is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of fresh herbs.)
  • Do not use a serrated knife to cut fresh herbs.
  • Delicate herbs can be torn instead of chopped.
  • To chop fresh herbs, place one hand on the end of the knife and the other hand on the blade. The hand on the blade applies constant pressure, while the hand on the handle lifts the knife up and down. Use a rocking motion along the blade of the knife without lifting the blade tip off the cutting surface.
  • To cut chiffonade herbs, stack the leaves on top of each other and roll the leaves up. Use a sharp knife and cut the roll into pieces. Unroll the pieces and you will have your long strips or chiffonade herbs.
  • Use a clean cutting board, or wash your cutting board thoroughly, when using fresh herbs as they can pick up other aromas and flavors.
  • Placing garlic cloves in the microwave for a few seconds before peeling will make the job easier.
  • To increase the aroma of dried herbs, hold the herbs over steam for a few minutes.
  • The best time of the day to pick fresh herbs from your garden is mid-morning. You want to wait until the morning dew has dried, but before the intense noon sun.
  • To dry fresh herbs, hang two or three stalks together upside down (after washing and drying thoroughly). Wait for the herbs to dry out, which will take approximately two weeks. Remove the leaves from the stems and crush with a rolling pin if you want crushed herbs. Store the leaves in an air-tight container.
  • You can freeze fresh herbs that you know you won’t use right away. To do so, wash and dry the herbs and remove the leaves from the stems. Place the leaves in a jar and store them in the freezer.