Beginning Herbalist: What Do I Do With These Herbs?

Do you have more herbs to harvest than you know what to do with? Check out these expert tips for using up your herbal harvest.

| June/July 1998

Question: My first herb garden is thriving. How do I use all these herbs I’m harvesting? Can you suggest some ways I can add more herbs to my cooking that my children won’t object to? (They complain about green flakes.)

Answer: Sprinkling flakes of herbs into food as you cook is only one of many ways to use herbs. Here are some other ideas.

• For soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, and other simmered foods, try packaging the herbs so that you can lift them out before serving. Gather the stems of fresh herbs into a bundle and tie it firmly with string. Put dried herbs, which crumble easily, in a tea ball or muslin tea bag, or tie them into a small square of cheesecloth or nylon panty hose.

• Simmer herbs with soup bones and vegetables, or with vegetables alone, then strain the broth to use in soups, sauces, or casseroles, or for cooking rice or pasta.

• Pour boiling water over herbs, let it stand for a few minutes as though brewing tea, then strain it and use it for cooking vegetables or pasta, poaching fish, or as the liquid when making bread.

• Add a pinch of herbs to the water in the bottom of the pan when you’re steaming vegetables or other food.

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