Lately I’ve been experimenting with trying to incorporate fresh herbs into my recipes. A minimal amount of fresh herbs can add so much flavour profile to a dish without the added calories! A dietitian’s dream! However, the issue with a recipe only calling for a minimal amount of herbs is that…so much is left over! What is to be done with the leftovers before these wonderfully fragrant flavorings expire in the back of our refrigerators? See below for a couple of ideas.
1. Dry them upside down by hanging them in a warm place. They will last for months and taste much better than what you get in those jars of dried spices.
2. Make a flavoured oil. This takes two seconds. All you have to do is take a mortar and pestle and crush the herb for 30 seconds. If you don’t have a motar and pestle, you can use a blender but the problem with a blender is that it needs a larger quantity of spices to work effectively. A quality blender will minimize problems, but it is less effective than a mortar and pestle when small amounts of herbs or spices are needed. Next add some salt and a cheap olive oil to the crushed herbs. Once you’ve done this, you can either store your oil in a translucent jar or pour the mixture in ice cube trays to freeze. You can add these blocks add any point in cooking. Add some while sauteing a stir fry or before you cook salmon in the oven, as in my cilantro ginger salmon recipe.
3. Make a flavoured spread or dip. Jamie Oliver makes a flavoured butter in his T.V show. However, I would like to put a little dietitian spin on and suggest making a flavoured greek yogurt dip! All you need is some plain greek yogurt (preferably 0% or 2% fat), add some chopped parsley, cloves of garlic, basil and chili peppers and you have youself a lovely healthy dip! Perfect with fresh vegetables or whole grain pita bread.