Not sure what to do with all those leftover herbs? Here’s an idea… make a herbplus!
A herb surplus is not uncommon to those of us cooking with fresh parsley, thyme, sage and other herbs. We often have more herbs than we need for our one-time dinner recipe or our ever-changing weekly meal prep.
Here are 5 awesome ways to put them to use:
Create a super salad
Making a big salad is the most obvious and simple solution to using your stockpile of herbs like parsley, cilantro, tarragon, mint, dill and chervil. You can rinse them pat them dry and add them whole to a large salad (this takes less than 3 minutes).
You can make this big salad into a wholesome meal by adding a protein like sautéed chicken or steak and a light citrus vinaigrette to naturally blend all the components together. Check out my Lemon Tahini Salad here.
Dress a salad
Creating a salad dressing is a tad more complicated than working with whole herbs – but it’s worth it! You can finely chop fresh herbs like chives and add to equal parts oil and vinegar to make your very own herb vinaigrette.
A vinaigrette with fresh herbs can last an entire week when refrigerated – this little trick can put a herby kick in any protein dish or salad.
Create a rich sauce from your fresh herbs just by adding a handful of leftover fragrant herbs like sage or tarragon to browned butter. These herbs can be added whole and simmered to allow the flavor to seep into the sauce before being removed or they can be finely chopped and blended into the sauce to stay. Get creative and add a squeeze of lemon or orange and some of the fruits zest for citrus flavor.
Make butter better
Yes you are reading that correctly, leftover herbs make for a great compounded butter recipe! Finely chopped herbs mix perfectly into room temperature butter that can be used as an awesome chicken rub before cooking or on a resting steak for an extremely fresh and tasty flavor. Of course on a cheat day, it makes for a delicious bread dip. It gets better; you can freeze and save the compound butter!
Recruit your food processor
Finely chopped basil, parsley and cilantro, using your food processor, can make for a great homemade pesto sauce in a pasta dish.
Mix those leftover fresh herbs with some spinach, arugula, garlic, olive oil, salt and black pepper for a great salsa verde! The stronger herbs like spinach and arugula make up the bulk of a salsa verde. Your best bet is to avoid a powerful herb like sage in this case.