For my Easter table this year, I’m using bundles of fresh herbs as bouquets. They smell wonderful and bring an earthy, springy vibe to the event. Which means I’ll have a ton of herbs leftover after dinner’s done. If you’re cooking at home this year, or followed our lead for decorating, you probably will, too. Don’t throw them away – here are a few quick, tasty, and easy ways to enjoy and store them.
1. Herb butter
Leave one stick of unsalted butter in a bowl to soften at room temperature. Add in 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs. (I like to use rosemary, thyme, and basil, but a combination of whatever you’ve got on hand will do.) Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix with a spoon or mixer until well blended. (Tip: If you’re using a mixer, stop before the butter becomes whipped.) Spoon into a small dish. Or, using a piece of wax paper that’s slightly longer than a stick of butter, wrap the paper around the mixture and shape into a long cylinder, gently rolling it back and forth to smooth it out. Twist the ends of the wax paper to seal. Use immediately or store in the fridge.
2. Herb and bleu cheese scones
Scones make an awesome after-holiday breakfast, and are easy and relatively quick to make. Follow the recipe for our Summer Berry Scones using the following modifications: Exclude the cup of berries; in its place, add in 1/2 cup of fresh chopped herbs and 1/4 cup of bleu cheese crumbles.
3. Egg salad with tarragon, chives, and parsley
In a bowl, combine six hard boiled eggs (peeled and chopped); 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise or plain greek yogurt; and a tablespoon each of chopped parsley, chives, and tarragon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy on baguette slices or sandwiched between multigrain bread.
4. Mojo verde sauce
Use leftover parsley and cilantro to whip up some zesty mojo verde – simply substitute your leftovers herbs for the cilantro in this recipe. Drizzle it over leftover ham and potatoes, or just about anything else. Mojo is also great for brighting up salmon or morning eggs, too!
5. Frozen herb cubes
To store fresh herbs for future use, put your ice cube trays to work. Finely chop any remaining herbs with a sharp knife or in a blender. Pack about 1 tablespoon of herbs into each ice cube square, filling it up by about 1/2 to 2/3. Pour water or chicken stock over the herbs to fill the remaining space. Place trays in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until the liquid freezes. Pop the cubes out of the tray, place in a Ziploc bag or other container, and return to freezer. Use in sautées, soups, roast veggies, or wherever you need a blast of flavor – no need to thaw first.
Photos by Maaike Bernstrom.