Everything is better fresh… including herbs. Ever wonder why five star restaurants serve the most delicious and aromatic entrees? Every chef knows that fresh food is always best when it includes fresh herbs.
Culinary herbs are the fresh leaves of herbaceous plants that are used as a food flavoring. There are literally hundreds of plants that can be grown for this purpose. You will astonish your family and guests by adding a few fresh herbs to any dish. We carry over 80 varieties of herbs for any and all of your cooking needs.
Keeping Herbs Fresh
After harvesting tender fresh herbs, they can become quite limp, soggy, and expires quite quickly in the fridge. Here are some tips to keeping the herbs fresh, crisp, and tasty!
• Rinse your herbs well under cool water to remove any dirt or insects. Gently shake off excess water and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut off the excess stems as you would with fresh flowers and place them in a glass or vase filled with cool water.
• Keep the leaves of the herbs above the rim of the vase as you would with a floral arrangement and change the water when it begins to look cloudy. Refrigerate and clip any leaves that turn yellow or brown with the exception of basil; it should not be refrigerated, but merely kept on the counter top.
Create a drying zone by stringing up some wire. If ventilation is a problem, use a small fan to move the air. Avoid direct sunlight as it causes plants to change color and dry too quickly. Gather your herbs in small bunches (the size will vary depending on the leafiness of the plant) and wrap the stems with a small rubber band. A half-opened paper clip is the ideal hook for hanging the bunch.
Drying time will depend on humidity, temperature, and the item you are drying. Most herbs will be ready in 10-14 days; they are done if a leaf rubbed between your fingers crumbles easily.
Store dried herbs in sealed jars or plastic bags in a cool, dark place. If moisture appears in the jar or bag, it is a sign that the herb is not completely dry. Avoid crushing the leaves until you are ready to use them because crushed herbs lose their flavor more quickly.
Some herbs freeze well, including: basil, borage, chives, dill (better frozen than dried) lemongrass, mint, oregano, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, fennel and lovage.
Wash the herbs and pat them dry, spread them in a single layer on a cutting board and put them in the freezer. Chop herbs into preferred sizes before freezing.
Re-sealable freezer bags are handy for freezing herbs. Put them into labeled, sealed containers and keep them in the freezer. Push all the air out of plastic containers before sealing them. In most cases, you don't need to thaw these herbs before you use them.
Everyone has a need for fresh herbs, so whether you’re planning on planting an herb garden, creating herb pots on your deck or utilizing your kitchen window sill, come on by and check out our huge selection of these culinary wonders.