Herbs are an amazing way to bring intense flavours to a dish while adding loads of nutrients. But the problem is, a single recipe usually only requires a small amount of herbs, and herbs are often sold in bunches. And when left unused, those herbs tend to go bad pretty quickly. If this is something you struggle with, we have some great, simple tips for you to help you reduce waste by using leftover herbs.
Never let your leftover herbs go to waste!
1. Freeze the herbs.
Does anyone else feel like the freezer is at times overlooked when it comes to preserving food? This is a super easy trick. Just take an ice cube tray, stuff it with chopped herbs, then add either boiling water–which helps blanch and retain flavour–or olive oil to preserve them. When they’re frozen solid, just transfer them into a plastic bag for easy access! Herbs frozen with water are better for recipes that call for herbs later on, whereas herbs frozen with olive oil are better for recipes that call for herbs from the get-go.
2. Make customized pesto.
The quickest way to use up your beloved basil is pesto. Some cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, and you’ve got everyone’s favourite dip. But never limit pesto to just basil, especially if you’re trying to use up other herbs. It can be made from anything, even carrot tops! Parsley and cilantro, in particular, make amazing pesto. Or you can always opt for a medley of herbs. Dips and sauces are meant to be explored!
3. Infuse your own oils.
Forget the overpriced bougie flavoured oil. Infusing your own is just as easy. Use a mild-flavoured oil–each oil has its own specific flavour use!–and add your herbs to it. Herb-infused oils can be great for a variety of culinary uses, from dressing salads, to pairing with seafood or meat, or just as good ol’ bread dip.
4. Dress your salad.
There are many ways to dress your salad with herbs. You can either blend them into your dressing, or just simply top them on your salad. But the classic herb vinaigrette can be super quick and easy, and very delicious. All you need is three parts olive oil and one part vinegar. Add your chopped herbs with some salt and pepper, and bam, homemade herb vinaigrette. Experiment with other dressings like ranch, or even herb-forward dressings like chimichurri or bearnaise.
5. Make a detox water.
Herbs and spices are ounce-for-ounce the highest in antioxidant content, so why not add them to water? Sometimes we forget to drink water, but a delicious, customized flavoured water will definitely keep you reaching for your water bottle. And with the right ingredients, they can do wonders for your health! We have some great detox water recipes to kickstart your inspiration.
Did we miss any of your favourite ways to use up leftover herbs? Food waste is a significant issue, and we are always looking for ways to reduce food waste. If you have any tips that we should know about, please let us know!