Delicious & Fun Ways to Use Up Your Fresh Herbs
For me, summer means fresh produce straight from the garden. As a result, there really is nothing better than eating a home grown meal, like a beautiful salad or a fresh pizza. While it can be easy to find ways to use up your produce it can be hard to use up all of the herbs you planted! I’ve got a couple of easy ways to use up your herbs, and also preserve them to enjoy them year round!
With the heat of the summer, we are constantly trying to stay hydrated. An easy way to stay hydrated is to infuse your water. It’s a healthier alternative to soda or lemonade, and also couldn’t be easier to make! Simply put your ingredients into a pitcher or mason jar, and fill it with water. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight, and drink it throughout the day! Some of my favourite combinations include:
- Mint, cucumber, lemon slices
- Pineapple, basil (optional: jalapeno)
- Grapefruit, rosemary or mint
- Cucumber, strawberry, thyme
One of the easiest ways to use up herbs is to make an herb butter! It can be used on virtually anything: steak, bread, seafood, eggs, stirred into a sauce… anywhere you would use butter! I typically make a large batch and freeze it. This isn’t really a recipe but more of a rough guideline, so mix in whatever you like.
Bring a stick of unsalted butter to room temperature. Mix your herbs into the butter and season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge for a week or freeze for 3 months. Some of my favourite combinations include:
- 1/2 cup chopped basil & parsley, zest of 1 lemon, 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped basil, 2-3 chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 3/4 cup total: chopped thyme, chives, rosemary, parsley
Drying herbs is an easy way to have them on hand all year. It’s also incredibly easy to do, and ensures they don’t go to waste! This works well with all herbs, with it exceptionally well with ‘woody herbs’ such as thyme or rosemary.
Gather the herbs into bunches, and tie the bottom of each bunch with twine. Hang them in a cool room, like a basement or cellar. Most kitchens are too warm to properly dry them. Check the bunches every few days to tighten the twine or string as needed. It will take at least two weeks to fully dry. Store them in plastic bags or jars.
Spice Up Your Kitchen
Herbs are a great way to add freshness to any dish, and they also grow vigorously! They grow back quickly once picked, so you have them available all season long. There are tons of ways to use them up, like in a salad dressing or pesto, so get creative with them! If you haven’t grown herbs before, don’t worry. Our Black Garden Soil gives your plants the perfect growing environment, making growing your own herbs easier than ever! Pick up a couple of herb plants and enjoy them all season long!