HOW TO STORE FRESH HERBS
If to be used within a day, stand in a vase of water. If longer, keep in an open plastic bag with a damp towel and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Tie a bunch together with a piece of string and hang upside down in a dark, dry place until completely dry. Then remove stems and crush the leaves. The best storage is a glass jar with a tight lid. Try to use dried herbs within a few months because they lose flavor quickly.
Tarragon and chives freeze well. Just rinse them off, dice them and toss them into a plastic storage bag before freezing. Leafy herbs such as cilantro and parsley are better frozen in water so that they turn into little ice cubes. They will turn mushy and soft when thawed, but can be used to flavor liquids. Just pull off the leaves, dice them and freeze with water in ice-cube trays. Once solid, remove from trays and put in freezer bags.
COOKING WITH HERBS
Adjust seasonings at the end of a long cooking time to avoid overseasoning. When substituting dried herbs for fresh, use about one-third as many as you would fresh.
PREPARING HERBS FOR COOKING
Wash fresh herbs by submerging in cool water and gently bouncing them around so that soil, sand and bugs are removed. Shake off the excess water, gently pat dry with a soft towel or allow them to drain in a colander. For best flavor, crush or snip herbs just before adding them to recipe. Dried herbs can be crushed between your fingers to release the flavors. The stems of fresh herbs are often bitter, so it's best to remove the stems by pulling the sprigs between your fingers or snipping leaves with herb snips or kitchen shears. Leaves of fresh herbs can be diced with a knife or cut with herb snips.