August 15, 2013
By now you’ve heard me talk endlessly about how much we love our monthly JBG Organics CSA box. Well, it just keeps getting better. I love watching the produce changes with the season. Seeing what’s good right now and figuring out new ways to use our delicious weekly goods is really fun. This whole summer we’ve gotten a ton of basil and now we’re getting into sage season (my favorite!) so each week we have a good amount of herbs to get through. For me, herbs are the kind of thing that I use for one recipe and then they sit in the crisper and I totally forget about them until we’re cleaning out the fridge on Sunday and by then it’s time to throw them out. You too? I’ve developed a couple of tips that help me use up our herbs every week—after the jump!
Storage: Typically we’re told to store herbs in a plastic bag and wrapped in a moist paper towel, which totally works and keeps them nice and fresh. For me though, this is exactly how I forget about them—when they’re hidden away. So I’ve taken to keeping them in water in glasses. Storing them in the fridge in their glasses is preferable but the windowsill was much more photogenic for our purposes:) and it’s where I keep mine (along with our cute shishito peppers that we just cooked last night!). Having them handy and accessible reminds me to add them to anything and everything I’m making to freshen it up. Here’s a few examples…
Usage: My favorite way to use our basil is by making flavored water with some cucumber slices for a little summertime pick-me-up. I put the water in the fridge with the herbs and cucumbers for about thirty minutes before drinking and voila! Delicious flavored water. A couple other things I’ve done with ours lately: watermelon, feta and basil salad; stirred into eggs in the morning; muddled with blackberries for a summer cocktail. When they’re at eye level and look so visually appealing, it really does occur to me to get creative and add them to anything and it always freshens up my dish or drink.
Subbing herbs you have on hand for different ones in your recipes is also a great option if you think it’s a good trade; we’ve cooked two recipes this week that call for thyme and I swapped in sage and it worked perfectly. Sage is particularly good if you crisp it up in a little brown butter sauce and serve it with some yummy ravioli or other fresh pasta—instant deliciousness and so kid-friendly! Also perfect for my marinara-averse Adam:)
Do you have trouble using up all your herbs? What are your tips?