ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Use Your Fresh Culinary Herbs

Updated on July 7, 2020
Nolimits Nana profile image

Teacher, gardener, author, and painter, Nicolette is always following her heart and expanding her awareness.

Chives: one of the earliest perennial herbs to green up and bloom.
Chives: one of the earliest perennial herbs to green up and bloom. | Source

Cleaning Fresh Herbs

Right now, with our usual spring rains, my herbs are looking healthy and seem really clean. However, its still a good idea to wash any herbs, whether from the garden or the grocery store.

Use a deep bowl of fresh cold water, and immerse the herbs. Swish them around gently, and then lift them out. Rinse the bowl, and repeat. Spread them out on an absorbent towel, and gently pat them dry, then roll them up in the towel and let them sit for a few minutes so the water can be absorbed into the towel. Don't spin dry and don't press down on the towel.

You can now pick the leaves off the stems, and the herbs are ready to use. For cilantro, the stem can remain. You can save parsley stems for use in broths or soups, as they have a lot of flavour.

Easy to grow parsley is a must in any kitchen herb garden.
Easy to grow parsley is a must in any kitchen herb garden. | Source

Ideas for Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs make a wonderful addition to soups, stews, breads, dips, dressings, rubs... you just need imagination. Here are some quick ideas:

  • add chopped fresh herbs to biscuits, and serve with a good homemade soup (rosemary and sage leaves are especially yummy in biscuits)
  • add fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs to your slow cooker when you make a beef stew
  • chop fresh oregano and/or basil coarsely, and add to warm potato salad
  • chop fresh basil leaves and add to green salads
  • add nastursium leaves and flowers to green salads
  • fresh dill leaves and chives make a potato salad something special
  • coarsely chop fresh rosemary, mix with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, and use as a chicken marinade.

How to Chop Delicate Herbs

Recipes Using Fresh Herbs

Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Sage Rub

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh finely chopped sage leaves
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix ingredients into a paste, and rub over a pork tenderloin. Let marinate overnight or at least 4 hours in the fridge. Barbecue or oven roast. (When barbecueing, you can scrape off some of the marinade before cooking.)

Basil Pesto Crostini

  • 1 French or sourdough baguette, sliced
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil pesto
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste

1. Preheat oven on broiler setting. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place under broiler until lightly toasted on one side. Remove from oven, and flip bread slices so that the toasted side is on the bottom.

2. Set the oven temperature for 350 degrees F. Mix the mayonnaise, pesto, garlic, Parmesan and salt and spread evenly over the bread slices.

3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, and place the rounds under the broiler just until they begin to bubble and turn golden. Let cool slightly before serving.


Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

This recipe is great with delicious fresh tomatoes from the garden. I don't even try it in winter, when the only tomatoes are the less-than-flavourful hothouse tomatoes.

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, cut to quarter inch cubes
  • 200 grams of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 450 grams (1 lb.) ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs - oregano, chives and parsley

Pre-heat the oven to 200° C (375˚F).

Slice the top from the tomato with a sharp knife. Using a spoon, scrape the insides out of the tomato. Place the tomato 'shells' in an ovenproof dish. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the ground meat until brown. Add the onions, garlic and zucchini and continue to saute for a few minutes. Pour in some of the stock and mix in the crème fraiche. Add the nutmeg, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley to the mixture.

Remove from the heat and add the feta cheese. Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes and place the lids back on top. Pour the rest of the stock into the ovenproof dish and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve hot.


Herb Oils, Butters, And Dips

Herb Infused Olive Oil

This oil, put into a pretty bottle, makes a great gift to your cooking friends. The oil is great for salads, in dressings, or as a bread dip.

  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)

Wash and thoroughly dry the herbs. Place basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano and garlic in a 12 ounce bottle. Using a funnel, pour oil into bottle. Cover tightly, and refrigerate. Use within 3 to 5 days.

Fresh Herb Dip

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon or basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine the ingredients, mix well and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving with assorted fresh vegetables.

Herb Butter

For a delicious change of pace, try spreading herb butter on corn on the cob or on freshly baked biscuits. Combine 1/2 cup of softened butter with 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil, thyme, or parsley.


Rub leafy herbs in the palm of your hand to release the flavor and aroma beforre using them. Robust herbs such as sage, thyme and bay leaves stand up well over long cooking times, while milder herbs like basil, marjoram and parsley should be added at the last minute for best results. This is especially true for fresh herbs.

© 2009 Nicolette Goff


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)