Number one item we buy that gets wasted around here and that I hate buying since I never need more then a tablespoon or two: fresh herbs.
Of course using fresh over dried is far more flavorful and for a lot of great recipes, necessary. Sure you can often substitute dried over fresh, but unless your dried herbs are kept in appropriate storage and used within a few months (which let's face it...most of them are well past their prime), you will not get the most out of them. Not to mention, the colors in dried are dull and not as pretty...who doesn't like their end result to turn out pretty after all the work you put into it? Not me..
*I have a solution*
You know those green little plastic containers that store your grated Parmesan cheese? They have the convenient little holes in the top or a wider mouth for larger amounts... you know what I am talking about... Well, next time instead of tossing it to your recycle bin, reuse it! Wash it out really well with hot soapy water, remove the label while at it, and allow it to air dry, and store it somewhere until the next time you have fresh herbs you are ready to toss out. My collection is small but it is growing now that I have caught onto this great tip.
Here is what I did with fresh parsley and cilantro:
- Rinse thoroughly, pat dry with paper towels.
- Finely chop all the leaves up, discarding stems.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper over-top a cookie sheet. Spread the parsley OR cilantro in a thin layer across the parchment paper. Freeze at least 30 min.
- Remove from freezer, quickly fold parchment paper up half way to allow the frozen parsley/cilantro to easily slide right into your Parmesan container. (I use the parchment paper because the herbs will defrost quickly and then will likely stick to your hands or cookie sheet).
- Close lid, label the top or side of container with a sharpie, and it should store easily in the door of your freezer.
- When ready to use, no need to thaw, just sprinkle or use the larger mouth of the lid to get what you need. Saves on grocery bills too!