Cooking with Herbs 101

It happens to everyone: You buy a bunch of herbs for a recipe, then watch the leftovers decompose in your fridge. Carla Hall tells you how to use them up deliciously. REDBOOK.

"When you think of basil, you think of pesto, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauces, and pasta dishes. But basil is also great with corn, zucchini, eggplant, even fresh strawberries."

"Use them in place of scallions. They taste great with eggs. If you can, snip them with kitchen scissors instead of cutting them with a knife; if your knife's dull, you'll bruise them."

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"Did you know the stems are flavorful too? Add cilantro to Mexican food: guacamole, tomatoes, rice. I make a tuna salad with cilantro and lime, peanuts, ginger, and chili. If your dish has lime in it, you can usually use cilantro too."

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"I love it in salads, and it's great in marinades-mint, olive oil, and garlic-for meat. And it makes an amazing pesto! Just sub in half mint and half parsley for your basil. You can also stick it in iced tea, or steep some in hot water. Or make a compound butter: Chop up a bunch and fold it into softened butter. It's delicious on corn on the cob."

"Garnish everything with it. I will add it to just about any pasta salad in the summertime. It's also the base of a gremolada, a great sauce that includes olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest-perfect for serving with grilled meat."

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"My favorite go-to herb. I use the whole stem in stews-beef stew, fish stew, tomato sauces-and then just pluck out the stems before we eat. Thyme is great chopped up in hamburger meat and in meatloaf too, and I mince a really small amount to add to my lemon bread. I absolutely love the way herbs pair with fruit."

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