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What to do with leftover herbs

Find out how to preserve leftover fresh herbs. Here is a quick guide to how to store herbs, how to freeze herbs, how to make herb butter and how to make pesto to keep your leftover herbs fresh.

What to do with leftover fresh herbs

We'll often buy a big bunch of herbs for a recipe, and find that there's plenty leftover. Don't let it go to waste, here's how to store herbs, how to freeze herbs and how to make compoound butter or pesto so not a single leaf will go to waste.

How to store herbs in the fridge

Keep your herbs fresher for longer in the fridge with these steps:

  • Take the herbs out of their original plastic bag and remove any softened or browned leaves.
  • Wash in cool water.
  • Dry by patting with a towel, or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.
  • Wrap herbs in a damp paper towel and place in a zip-lock bag.
  • Keep in the vegetable crisper section of your fridge.

Hardier herbs such as rosemary and thyme can last for two weeks or more with this method, but soft leafy herbs such as basil and parsley should be used within a week. If you want to store your herbs for longer, try one of the techniques below.

How to freeze herbs

Fresh herbs don't freeze well by themselves. Instead, freeze them by chopping them up, popping them into an ice-tray or zip-lock bag and then covering them with olive oil. Watch the video to see how easy it is! This oil and herb mix will freeze well for up to 6 months. Use it for marinating meats or put cubes directly into stews and casseroles to add flavour.

How to make herb butter

Chop herbs finely and mix with butter, salt is optional. Use the herbs you have on hand or make flavourful combinations using the recipes in the video below. Roll the butter into a log in baking paper, or scoop into ice trays to freeze in small portions. This herb butter is delicious over meats, seafood or vegetables. Use it to make luxurious scrambled eggs, herby mashed potatoes, or rub on meats before roasting.

To use, defrost portions in the fridge and then let come to room temperature on the counter before using.

How to make pesto with herbs

Pesto doesn't have to be made with basil, other soft herbs such as coriander, parsley and dill make delicious pesto. Find lots of different ways to personalise your pesto here, and use the technique in the video below to make your own pesto. Pesto stays fresh in the fridge for around two weeks, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

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