Lots of fresh herbs - What to do?
Don't ask why but I have fresh mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill and tarragon in my refrigerator. it's March and no local veggies at the Farmers Market. The last 2 herbs I use infrequently. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas of how to use these either for a weeknight dinner or how to prepare them in a way that they will keep for a while. Any ideas are appreciated.
try searching for some Persian recipes...they use tons of fresh herbs all mixed together in all kinds of dishes. A Persian kuku, for example, is an egg dish kind of like a frittata with lots of fresh herbs.
Also in the eighties just as Chez Panisse etc. were starting, I began enjoying fresh herb salads. Your usual suspects, but with lots of minced or torn fresh herbs mixed in. Really a delightful palate cleanser at the end of a meal before dessert, or with cheese. Southeast Asian recipes also have a huge variety of rices and salads with mixed fresh herbs.
Pasta is wonderful tossed with butter, salt and fresh herbs.
Another idea is something I do often and learned from Patricia Wells: An Herb Salad.
Take any combination of herbs (You could use all the ones you have), chop them fine and mix them up. Take some really good greens, toss them with a nice homemade vinaigrette and then place a mound of the herbs (about a palmful) on top of the greens. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over the herbs. It makes a light but very tasty salad. You can garnish the salad any way you like (pearl tomatoes, halved, avocado slices, etc) but I like the pure green version.
I make herb butters, roll them into logs and freeze. You can cut pieces off and return remainder to freezer. I put a thin slice on fish, chicken and meat as they're cooking. One of my favorites is unsalted butter with minced tarragon, rosemary and parsley with finely chopped lemon rind.
Yes! Herb butters! They use a good deal of fresh and the butters can be kept in the frig or frozen for all sorts of delicious uses. Chopped fresh herbs also work well coating soft cheeses. And there is a CH thread discussing herbs in shortbread cookies that might provide some savory baking ideas.
Parsley (Italian flat-leaf only in my opinion being the only worthwhile type) is my "go to" herb for pretty much everything & anything. I use it almost daily.
Basil, of course, is my "go to" for all things Italian.
Cilantro - all things Mexican (& some Vietnamese).
Dill = salmon.
I love tarragon, & don't make many chicken dishes without it.
Except for an occasional sprig in iced tea, I rarely use mint in anything.
Mint - mojitos, lemonade, and in small doses as a basil substitute.
Basil - pesto, for pastas and butterflied pork loin that you spread with pesto, re-roll, and roast. Any and all salad dressings, especially made with balsamico. Great mixed with diced tomatoes and a little vinaigrette for bruschetta. Wonderful chopped into sauteed canned or fresh tomatoes, as a pasta sauce; little garlic, little parmesan.....yum.
Cilantro: For salsas, rice dishes, marinades, and in most Mexican and many Middle-Eastern foods. Great as a garnish for tacos, in salad dressings, etc.
Parsley: Tabbouleh (you can use the mint in this, too), and anything you can possibly think of: parsleyed potatoes/salad, all soups, stews, etc.
Dill: Potato salad, classic cold or Hot German. I use it in cucumber salad, chicken salad, egg salad; I use it in all my pickling brines also. Beef Stroganov, most sour-cream based sauces and dressings.
Tarragon: go easy with this one. I love it but in excess it has a heavy licorice-y taste that I don't love. Tarragon goes well with chicken, pork, fish; in potato salad, and is a wonderful flavor foil for most things containing orange or really any form of citrus.
You're going to get a million suggestions from your post, so I'll keep mine short. Good luck and happy cooking!
you can make an herb fritatta, and use the herbs more copiously than you might normally.
you can also puree each with a tiny bit of oil and freeze in ziplocs.
the parsley, basil, mint and dill will all work together in a spanakikopita too.
the mint and cilantro can rough chopped with tomato and oil into a relish and frozen.
i hate tarragon, so can't help, but you can make a tetrazzini or bearnaise with it.