Man carrying potted herbs in crate

How to make the most of leftover herbs

No need for fresh herbs to wilt with these handy tips and hacks!

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How to make the most of leftover herbs

Cooking with fresh, fragrant herbs is one of the best ways to help maximise flavour in any dish, but sadly these fresh leaves tend to wilt quite quickly. Fear not! With a bit of know-how, you can save them from the bin and give them a second life with these handy hacks and recipes... 

Freeze into herby ice cubes 

Freeze mixed herbs with butter or oil, then use as needed to add flavour to veggie and meat dishes. Try these versatile combinations or experiment with your own. 

●Parsley and garlic with melted butter. Try melting over steaks, or thaw, spread over baguette halves, then bake for garlic bread. Yes, please! 

●Basil, parsley and red chilli in mild olive oil. Try melting over pasta for an easy sauce.

●Thyme, rosemary and lemon zest in mild olive oil. Try adding to a root veg traybake.

●Coriander and lime zest in mild olive oil. Try thawing a cube, then stir through fresh chopped tomatoes and red onion for a salsa. 

How to make: 

1) Remove any tough stems from the herbs and chop or tear large leaves into smaller pieces, then pack loosely in an ice cube tray.

2) Carefully add mild olive oil or melted butter to fill each compartment almost to the top. You’ll need about ½tsp to 1½tsp.

3) Lay the tray flat in the freezer for at least 8 hrs, then transfer the cubes to zip-seal freezer bags. Store for up to 3 months.

 

5 recipes to use up leftover herbs

Sprinkle in chermoula 

Make this delicious North African-style dressing by following the recipe in the link below – add coriander and smoked paprika for extra punch. Swirl into natural yogurt and serve with warm, torn flatbreads.

Add to tasty tabbouleh 

This Lebanese-inspired salad is bursting with fresh flavour from plenty of parsley, mint and zesty lemon. A classic mezze dish, it’s great as a side for grilled meats. 

Whip up a chimichurri marinade

 Deep green chimichurri sauce provides a summery flavour boost to barbecue meats, and it gives some serious pep to roast veggies too! Or why not use it to mix up your usual roast chicken? Though this recipe calls for mint and parsley, you can improvise with a blend of whatever herbs you have on hand, like coriander or basil. 

Make your own pesto 

The most foolproof way to enliven wilting herbs in a hurry is to blend them into a pesto. It goes great on nearly everything, whether you spread it on top of fish fillets before baking or toss with veggies and pasta. We love this courgetti recipe from Tom Kerridge. From rocket to coriander, any combination of greens tastes delicious together. If pine nuts aren’t your thing, try sunflower seeds.

throw them into a bake 

Did you know that basil and strawberries make a great baking combo? Or that a few thyme leaves can make a delicious savoury shortbread? If you've never tried baking with herbs, why not give it a go?