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Fresh Herbs 101

  • If you have your own garden, gather herbs just before using them.
  • When buying precut herbs, select those with tightly packed leaves. Avoid wilted, yellowed or bruised leaves and soft stems.
  • Cut herbs with a sharp chef’s knife so as not to bruise the leaves.
  • Add herbs with tough leaves (thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage) at any point during cooking; flavors will be mellower when herbs are added at the beginning, brighter when they are added at the end.
  • Add herbs with soft leaves (cilantro, mint, tarragon, parsley, basil, chervil) toward the end of cooking.
  • Be generous; the flavors of fresh herbs are not as concentrated as those of dried, so more is usually better.
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