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Fresh Herbs

Looking for an easy way to triumph in the kitchen? Try adding a few snips of fresh herbs to your favorite recipes.

Just like any fresh vegetable, herbs should be washed before using. Break off just the amount you’ll need, then rinse thoroughly under running water. Shake off moisture or spin dry in a salad spinner. Pat off remaining moisture with clean paper towels.

Unless otherwise directed, mince herbs into tiny pieces with a chef’s knife on a cutting board or by snipping with kitchen shears. Mincing in a food processor is tricky – it’s easy to turn delicate herbs into paste.

Unlike dried, fresh herbs are usually added toward the end of the cooking process to preserve the flavor. Sometimes, a recipe will direct you to add delicate herbs just a minute or two before a dish is finished or to sprinkle them just before serving.

To ensure that you always have your pick of the choicest fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs available, our produce selection is constantly changing. Not all varieties are in store at any given time. If you don’t find something you’re looking for, please ask a produce team member.

Arugula

​With its peppery, slightly bitter flavor, uh-REW-guh-la has loads of character and is especially popular in classic Italian cuisine. Use it raw to add spice to a tossed salad. Sauté over low heat and serve as a vegetable.

To store: Wrap unwashed leaves in paper towel and place in plastic bag. Keep in vegetable drawer of refrigerator.

Basil

​Slightly sweet with a clove-like aroma, fresh basil is a staple in salads and pasta and pesto sauces. It’s also delicious in beef, fish, chicken, veal and tomato-based dishes. For optimum flavor, add late in the cooking process.

To store: If basil comes with roots attached, place in a few inches of water and leave at room temperature away from sunlight. Basil without roots can be stored this way, too, but snip ½ inch off stem ends before immersing. Leaves should stay fresh up to 4 days, sometimes longer.

Chives

​Spicy but milder than green onions (aka scallions), fresh chives are peppery with an onion-garlic aroma. Snip stems to add subtle onion-y flavor to egg and cheese dishes, soups, potatoes, vegetables and sauces. Also good in salads and with fish. Chives make a beautiful, edible garnish.

To store: Do not rinse chives first. Wrap loosely in plastic bag or wrap and place inside the door of the refrigerator (not in a cold spot like the crisper drawer). Since moisture can harm fresh chives, you may want to add an absorbent paper towel.

To freeze: Rinse and dry chives thoroughly, then place in freezer bag.

Cilantro

​Looks a lot like parsley; has a distinctive tangy flavor with a hint of citrus; can be cooling or biting depending on how it is used. Considered essential in salsas and a mainstay ingredient of other Mexican and Tex-Mex foods; also important in Middle Eastern cuisine. Delicious in sandwiches (add to lettuce or use on its own) and in beef, lamb and lentil dishes. Crush to release flavor.

To store: Snip stems, place in a few inches of water and leave at room temperature away from sunlight. Can also store with stems in water, loosely covered, in refrigerator – but not in crisper drawer.

Dill

​Very aromatic with undertones of anise and parsley. Delicious with seafood, sauces, soups, potato salad, many vegetables, lamb, chicken, fish and in breads. For best results, add near end of cooking. For best flavor, use fresh instead of dried.

To store: Do not rinse first. Refrigerate loosely wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag.


To freeze: Rinse sprigs, dry thoroughly, trim stems and seal in freezer bag, gently pressing air from bag. Double bag to guard against freezer burn, especially if you plan to freeze dill for several months.

Marjoram

​Similar to oregano, but with sweet, milder, and slightly balsamic flavor, fresh marjoram is a key ingredient in Italian cooking. It can also be used to enhance the flavor of beans, peas, lentils and most vegetables and is delicious in egg and cheese dishes.

To store: Wrap in a damp paper towel and refrigerate in plastic bag.

To freeze: Rinse and thoroughly dry leaves; chop and freeze in freezer bag.

Mint

​Strong, aromatic flavor with a cool aftertaste that enhances savory and sweet foods and beverages, including peas, lamb and new potatoes and fruit salads, tea and punch. Also makes an edible garnish for ice cream.

To store: Do not rinse first. Wrap in paper towels and refrigerate in plastic bag. To store outside refrigerator, snip ½ inch off stems and place in a few inches of water away from sunlight.

To freeze: Rinse and freeze in ice cube trays, adding a few leaves and water to cover. Store frozen cubes in freezer bag.

Oregano

​Aromatic, with a warm, sharp flavor with lemon and pepper undertones, it is one of America’s most popular herbs. Often used in combination with basil, oregano is an essential ingredient of Italian cuisine like pizza, pastas and roasted vegetables. Also a mainstay in Greek and Mexican dishes. Wonderful with baked fish, soups, potatoes and sauces.

To store: Do not rinse first. Refrigerate in sealed plastic bag. Check periodically to make sure leaves are green and stems are mold-free.

To freeze: Strip leaves from stems, wash, dry thoroughly and seal in freezer bag. Or mix chopped leaves with just enough olive oil to make a paste and freeze in small batches.

Sage

​This aromatic herb has a strong, distinctive flavor with a hint of mint. It combines well with other herbs. Use to flavor stuffing and beef, chicken and fish dishes. A must in Greek and Italian dishes.

To store: Do not rinse until use. Wrap in paper towels and refrigerate in plastic bag. 

To freeze: Rinse, thoroughly dry and chop leaves. Store in freezer bag.

Rosemary

​With its strong, woodsy aroma and peppery flavor, rosemary is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Blend with butter, salt and pepper to season potatoes and vegetables; chop fine and toss in fresh salads; mix with olive oil to make a dipping sauce; use to season chicken, veal and lamb. Use sparingly: A little goes a long way. 

To store: Do not rinse first. Wrap loosely in plastic bag or wrap and place inside the door of the refrigerator (not in a cold spot like the crisper drawer). Since moisture can harm fresh rosemary, it may help to add an absorbent paper towel.

To freeze: Strip leaves from stems, rinse and dry thoroughly, and seal in freezer bag. Or mix chopped leaves with just enough olive oil to make a paste and freeze in small batches.

Tarragon

​Has a strong licorice aroma and distinctive flavor with spicy undertones of basil and anise. Use sparingly. For best results, fresh is preferred to dried. Important in French cooking, especially fish, poultry, beef and egg dishes. A key ingredient of Béarnaise sauce and tartar sauce and a classic seasoning for potatoes, tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchini.

To store: Do not rinse first. Refrigerate dry in a plastic bag.

To freeze: Rinse and dry thoroughly, then place in freezer bag. Or place in ice cube trays and cover with water (1 TBS tarragon per well) to freeze. Store frozen cubes in freezer bag.

Thyme

Has a strong, aromatic kick that brightens other flavors and mixes well with lemon, garlic, basil and many other herbs. Mince to distribute flavor in Mediterranean dishes; egg and pasta recipes; beef, chicken, fish; vinaigrettes.

To store: Do not rinse first. Wrap loosely in plastic bag or wrap and place inside the door of the refrigerator (not in a cold spot like the crisper drawer). Since moisture can harm fresh thyme, you may want to add an absorbent paper towel.

To freeze: Rinse, chop and cover with water in ice cube trays (1 TBS thyme per well). Store frozen cubes in freezer bag.

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