Your fave ways to use fresh herbs (when you have lots to get through)

Whether they're coming from the garden in your backyard or on the balcony, your local store or the farmers market—what are your favorite ways to use lots of fresh herbs? We'd love to hear your ideas!



AntoniaJames June 18, 2021
Also, Ottolenghi has a great turkey burger recipe full of herbs (so many of his recipes do). Here's a link:

Another Ottolenghi recipe - one that uses even more herbs - is this couscous, cherry tomato and herb salad - full of cilantro and mint:

And let's not forget ice cream: Mint basil chip ice cream. So good!

AntoniaJames June 18, 2021
Oregano fresh from the garden, finely chopped + finely chopped anchovies + a clove of garlic, smashed + oil, salt and lemon juice, slathered on grilled vegetables, after turning them over the last time.

Fresh dill and chives from the garden, plus parsley, in chicken salad, or potato salad. I eat dill from my garden all summer, and never tire of it. Never.

If you have a ton to get through, especially dill, which doesn't hold up particularly well in the fridge, finely chop it and stuff as much of it as you can into a small container; cover with ice cold water and freeze for future use. To use, thaw and drain it well and then use it in potato salad, chicken salad, or in melted butter over chicken cutlets or fish of any kind.

Or, make compound butter: soften butter (salted or unsalted), mix finely chopped herbs into it, roll it in wax paper (I use the paper the stick of butter came in) and then tightly wrap in freezer paper. Save for the fall. Serve over fish or chicken or grilled steak or (especially if the butter is salted) crackers on a cheese board - so decadent, so delicious. ;o)
Miss_Karen June 16, 2021
I make a pesto filled challah bread.
Happygoin June 15, 2021
I just made a killer tabbouli because I have parsley up the ting-yang. Made my own pita chips to go with. Da-lish!
Food52-Community June 16, 2021
Perfection :).
Nancy June 15, 2021
Spring herb salad....use a variety of soft spring lettuces & leafy herbs in quantity. Can be simple with vinaigrette and/or garnished with other vegetables (asparagus, artichoke), protein (hard-cooked egg, cheese), etc. First learned of from Chef Frank Stitt of Alabama. Now many recipes out there.
Food52-Community June 16, 2021
Healthy, delicious—and versatile! Love this variation, too:
702551 June 15, 2021
My favorite way of using a bounty of fresh herbs is to give them away to family, friends, and acquaintances who I know will appreciate them.

Years ago I decided to start growing the herbs that I use the most frequently for A.) better quality, B.) easier access, and C.) save money.

The last point is funny. Think about it: a $1 or $2 bunch of organic grocery-store/farmers market herbs is more expensive by weight than USDA Prime sirloin steak or sashimi-grade bluefin tuna.

I routinely give fresh herbs to the guy who runs my favorite coffee shop. He knows that the bag of herbs that I pass over the counter is probably $6-8 at Whole Foods Market and my stuff is better because it was picked two hours ago, not a week ago. Occasionally he comps me an espresso drink but that's not my expectation (I still tip heavily if he does). And I know he occasionally shares my gift with some of his other customers who also like to cook.

If I have too much to gift, I'm not going to try to find a way to preserve some scraggly, limp and tired herbs. They end up in the compost bin.

Heck, I grow epazote that I use in small quantities and when I have a bumper crop, I give some to the cooks at the nearby restaurants. Usually none of the dishes on the menu will call for it but they will definitely bring it home for personal use or perhaps for the staff "family meal."

These days I am also gifting transplants (chives are an herb that propagates very easily) as well as seeds. I gave some dried beans to one of my healthcare providers because I know someone in her household likes to garden.

Seed packets are worth $2-3, a live seedling is maybe $4-5. But it's more about the thought, less about saving a buck.
Food52-Community June 16, 2021
Thanks so much for your thoughts, 702551. Sounds like you have some very lucky neighbors, and I'm sure they really appreciate your generosity (and great gardening skills!).
Recommended by Food52