Choosing Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs add spark and life to food, whether you grow them in your garden or pick them up from the market. Choose herbs that have fresh-looking leaves without brown spots. Fresh herbs don't last long, so buy (or pick) only as you need them.
Preparing Fresh Herbs
Stripping: Thoroughly rinse fresh herbs under cool water. Blot dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner. Remove tiny leaves of herbs from herbs such as thyme by holding onto the stem with one hand and stripping the leaves into a bowl using the other hand.
Snipping: To cut larger clean and dry fresh herbs, place leaves in a measuring cup or bowl and snip them with kitchen scissors, using short, quick strokes. For herbs with tough stems, such as rosemary, strip the leaves from the stem first.
Chiffonade: A chiffonade is a bunch of thin strips or shreds. To create a chiffonade of herbs, roll up larger leaves, such as basil, and cut across the roll.
Storing: To store fresh herbs, cut a 1/2 inch from the stems. Stand stem ends in a small jar with some water. Loosely cover leaves with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Don't refrigerate basil -- it may blacken. Discard wilted leaves as they appear.