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Cooking with Fresh Herbs
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Cooking with Fresh Herbs

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Fresh herbs are bright and lively and stiff competition for any bottle of green dust camped out on your spice rack. But not all dried herbs are a waste of money, and not all recipes that call for …

Fresh herbs are bright and lively and stiff competition for any bottle of green dust camped out on your spice rack. But not all dried herbs are a waste of money, and not all recipes that call for fresh herbs really require them. We investigated to find out when you can reach for the glass jars. A couple rules of thumb to cook by: remember to replace dried herbs after 6 to 12 months (they lose their punch), and when substituting for fresh herbs, measure out half as much as the recipe calls for. Woody rosemary works well dried. Crush the needles between your fingers or with a knife to release the aromas, and just be careful not to add too much; it can get a piney, bitter flavor fast. Use in soups, braised and slow-cooked dishes, and with roasted meats. Dried parsley must think the joke is on us." It's laughing away its tenure on the spice rack. If you are buying fresh herbs rather than growing them, store them like you would fresh flowers, in a glass of water.

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  • 1. Fresh herbs are bright and lively and stiff competition for any bottle of green dust camped out on your spice rack. But not all dried herbs are a waste of money, and not all recipes that call for fresh herbs really require them. We investigated to find out when you can reach for the glass jars. A couple rules of thumb to cook by: remember to replace dried herbs after 6 to 12 months (they lose their punch), and when substituting for fresh herbs, measure out half as much as the recipe calls for. Woody rosemary works well dried. Crush the needles between your fingers or with a knife to release the aromas, and just be careful not to add too much; it can get a piney, bitter flavor fast. Use in soups, braised and slow-cooked dishes, and with roasted meats. Dried parsley must think the joke is on us." It's laughing away its tenure on the spice rack. If you are buying fresh herbs rather than growing them, store them like you would fresh flowers, in a glass of water. There are certain labor-intensive recipe phrases that can make the most diligent cook roll her eyes. "Do I really have to do that?" we wonder. Leave your Do I Really Have To Do That? questions in the comments and they shall be answered, saving us all a lot of needless trouble. It won't have the same delicate featheriness of fresh dill, but dried dill works decently in tuna salad, savory scones and bread, and other baked dishes like roasted turbot. Summer's quintessential herb just has to be fresh to be flavorful. But it makes the year-long wait for caprese salad and pesto worthwhile. When you have more basil than you know what to do with, make big batches of pesto and freeze in ice cube trays to add a burst of bright flavor to cold weather soups, pastas, and sautes. Sage's silvery, velveteen leaves are almost as good when they're dried and work beautifully in all the fall favorites like poultry, stuffing, and winter squash.

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