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In your box this week:
- LAST OF: Tomatoes
- LAST OF: Potatoes
- LAST OF: Cilantro
- LAST OF: Basil
- NEW! Sage
- NEW! Onion Chives
- NEW! Parsley
- Cucumbers (LAST OF??)
- Zucchini / Summer Squash (LAST OF??)
- Peppers: All of them this week are sweet EXCEPT the long skinny green Cayenne Hot Pepper
HERB CONFUSION?? We can help!
From Left to Right:
- Basil: Fresh, dried, frozen (chop in food processor first). Use in pesto, Italian dishes, sauces, soups.
- Onion Chives: Best used fresh. Chop up fresh as garnish for salad, potatoes, or tacos, etc. Can also be used cooked.
- Mint: Fresh, dried, frozen. Mint calms an upset stomach. Dry it and then crumble it into a jar for later use. Last winter I had food poisoning and mint tea helped A LOT. I went through almost a quart of dried mint leaves in a week, and was SO GLAD I had them on hand in the cupboard.
- Thyme: Fresh or dried. Usually used cooked, such as in Italian dishes, hotdishes, and soups.
- Cilantro: Best fresh, could probably be dried? Use it fresh in salsa, spring rolls, quesadillas, with fruit, in cornbread, or as a last second addition to sautes or soups. Cilantro also makes a great pesto!
- Parsley: Fresh, dried, frozen. Another good pesto candidate! Also used in Italian dishes, soups, sprinkled in salads (try it!), or just generally added to pretty much anything.
- Sage: Fresh, dried, frozen. Use it in fall cooking, like with squash soup, potato dishes, and meat things.
FRESH: Keep fresh by putting it in a plastic bag in the fridge. Basil is picky–wet leaves turn black in the fridge. Sometimes it works well to put basil in a vase on your counter. Or put a towel around it in the bag to catch condensation.
DRIED: Just hang the bunch upside down in a place that gets some air movement but that is out of direct sunlight. Stagnant air could facilitate molding, and the sun zaps nutrition and flavor. If you are like me, you always think, “Of course I will remember what herb this is!” but then when it is all dried up it is hard to tell if it was Oregano or Mint or Parsley or what. So just LABEL IT now and thank yourself later.
FROZEN: I have found it easiest to chop up the dry herb with a food processor, and then put in a bag in the freezer. No water or oil mixed in means the herbs stay crumbly and I can just scoop out however much I want. The super deluxe way of preventing them from clumping up would be to pour the ground-up herbs onto a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze them flat, and then pour them into a plastic bag after they are frozen. Some people like to freeze them as pesto, or in oil or water, perhaps in an ice cube tray, and then transfer the frozen herb cubes into a plastic bag.