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Mar 24, 2005 02:36 PM

Loads o'leftover herbs

  • s

What do you do with a bunch of leftover fresh herbs when you only need a bit for a recipe? I have a bunch of dill about to expire in my fridge. (Only cooking for two, so large batch meals is not an option). Thanks in advance. BTW, what does ISO mean?

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  1. m
    Marcia M. D'A.

    In search of, sweetie.
    You can wash the herbs, dry well and freeze them in a zip-lock bag. They cannot be used for everything but work quite well in cooked dishes. Some puree them in a little water and freeze in ice cube trays, but I prefer the first method. I use it with dill, sage, basil and other things I've no doubt forgotten.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Marcia M. D'A.

      Does freezing them change the taste the same way that drying them does?

      1. re: Sweet Pea
        Marcia M. D'A.

        No, freezing pretty much preserves the fresh taste. You might get a little less flavor, but they are not like dried herbs at all.

      2. re: Marcia M. D'A.

        I've been known to freeze them in a little chicken stock or leftover wine instead of water... then I whip them out when making a quick reduction sauce, soup, etc. adds a little pizazz to your average weeknight dinner.

      3. BTW, what does ISO mean? Incentive Stock Option. International Standards Organization are two I use at work.

        What context are you referring to.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alan408

          some of the subject lines on this board include "ISO". I just wondered if it was chat shorthand for something.

          1. re: Sweet Pea

            ISO means In Search Of :-)

        2. If you are chopping your herbs, go ahead and chop all at once, then measure out what you need then freeze the rest in a baggie. (This way you don't find them in a slimy mess in the back of the fridge 3 weeks later!)

          These are great to have on hand to add to rice, use in a marinade, or even to add to baked goods.

          1. I always prefer to cook the herbs rather than freeze.No good reason - I just have a black hole of a freezer.

            When I have lots of mixed herbs, I chop them finely and toss them with al dente pasta/basmati rice/boiled new potatoes, with a bit of olive oil and lemon zest. Tastes like spring....

            Make a quick batter bread that involves fresh herbs! The more the better. So wonderful hot out of the oven with a bit of butter or cream cheese....

            Make pesto if I have left-over basil, parsley or arugula. Otherwise I still blend it and then either use it to coat fish or chicken or roast potatoes (mix it with bread crumbs or chop it with nuts), or put it with some hot chicken stock and use it for a herby risotto. It's quite fun to mix and match. For example, if I had dill, I'd do a dill-and-smoked-salmon risotto. Mmmm....

            1 Reply
            1. re: kate

              Add it to your dinner salad. If you like the flavor enough to use it in your entree, gradual sprinklings in your salad will be just as welcome. In addition to regular salads, they're also good in composed salads like Vietnamese Summer salads which have mint and basil in it anyway.

              Grind up in your food proc or blender and add cream cheese (or mayo or greek yogurt) for instant sandwich zing. Good as a dip too.

              If all else fails, blend into some canola (or other bland oil) and then strain out the bits for a flavored oil.

            2. Besides freezing, an abundance of fresh dill is also a boon for borscht. Or cottage cheese. Or steam a whole fish on top of it.