Got Leftover Herb Stems? Here's What To Do With Them
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Leftover herb stems can still be used to add flavour to dishes and reduce food waste. Once the leaves of fresh herbs are picked out to be used in cooking, most often the stems are discarded into the trash can, without giving it a second chance of taking it one step further and using it in the kitchen. Most often, we use coriander leaves as garnish for a lot of dishes or mint in chutneys and dips; torn basil leaves adorn our salads and pasta while their stems lay waiting to be revived and breathed new life into. However, using these creative tricks to use up the stems of fresh herbs, here are some suggestions for what to do with them:

Infused Oils/Vinegars

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Herb stems can be used to infuse oils or vinegars, adding their aromatic flavours. Simply place the herb stems in a clean glass jar, cover them with oil or vinegar, and let them steep for a few days to several weeks. The resulting infused oils or vinegars can be used in salad dressings, marinades, or as a finishing touch to dishes.

Make Stock

Herb stems, along with vegetable scraps, can be used to make flavourful homemade stocks or broths. Simmer the herb stems with other vegetable scraps, such as onion skins, carrot tops, and celery leaves, in water for an extended period to extract their flavours. The resulting stock or broth can be used as a base for soups, stews, or sauces.

Blend Into Sauces/Pesto

If the herb stems are tender enough, you can chop them finely and incorporate them into sauces, such as tomato sauce or pesto. Blend the stems along with the leaves to maximize the flavour. This works well for herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil.

Flavour Broths/Soups

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Place the herb stems in a cheesecloth or herb-infuser bag and add them to broths or soups while they simmer. This allows the flavours to infuse without having the stems floating around in the final dish.

Flavoured Salts

Dry the herb stems by hanging them upside down in a cool, well-ventilated area until they are completely dry. Once dried, you can remove the leaves from the stems and crush or grind them to create flavoured salts. Mix the dried herb leaves with coarse salt to make a flavourful seasoning.

Also Read:

Three Interesting Ways To Save Your Wilting Herbs

Freeze For Future Use 

If you can't use the herb stems immediately, you can freeze them for later use. Place the stems in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer. When needed, you can take out the desired amount and use them directly in soups, stocks, or sauces.