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Fresh herbs add spark to your cooking and are easily grown in yards, pots and flower boxes. Herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Lavender can be a part of your garden or yards natural landscape as they fit in so easily.

Choosing – black spots or yellow leaves indicate old herbs losing their flavor. Herbs purchased from Farmers’ Markets are grown in the field and have a stronger aroma than those purchased in grocery stores.

Washing – rinse under cool water, shake excess water off, then blot dry. You can either continue to dry them in a “salad spinner” or roll them up in paper towels to finish blotting up any moisture.

Careful! Do NOT wash fresh basil — you’ll wash away its’ aromatic aroma!!

Storing tender herbs (parsley, basil, dill, tarragon) –  remove any rubber bands (or fasteners) from the herbs and trim the stems (if the roots are still attached, skip that step). Place the herbs stem side down into a glass of water with enough water that covers the stems. Then cover loosely with a plastic bag and store on the top shelf of the fridge. They should remain fresh for about 5 days.

Storing fresh basil – store it the same way as mentioned above, however, loosely covered and at room temperature. Cold temperature causes their leaves to turn brown.

Perk-Up Limp Herbs – cut the bottom ¼ inch off the bottom of the stems, then place the herbs (stem side down) into a glass of cold water for about 30 minutes.

Getting the Best Flavor from Fresh Herbs – Heat will diminish the flavor of fresh herbs. Add tender herbs (basil, parsley, dill) towards the end of the cooking process, and sprinkle some on top of your finished dish. Stronger flavored herbs (thyme, rosemary) can be added much earlier in the cooking process so they have time to mellow and flavor the dish.

–  Just a little bit of fresh Rosemary goes a long way. Meaning, be careful how much you use!