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Old 01-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
denisem
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Stupid question about fresh herbs

I'm thinking of starting an herb garden, having always used dried herbs in the past.

I realize the ratio is about 4x fresh versus dried, rosemary leaves are stripped from the stalk, etc. but how fine do you mince them? Like the size of dried? I have a mini electric chopper, would that work? Any tips? I plan on doing the basics - sweet basil, rosemary, thyme, italian parsley, chives...

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by denisem View Post
I'm thinking of starting an herb garden, having always used dried herbs in the past.

I realize the ratio is about 4x fresh versus dried, rosemary leaves are stripped from the stalk, etc. but how fine do you mince them? Like the size of dried? I have a mini electric chopper, would that work? Any tips? I plan on doing the basics - sweet basil, rosemary, thyme, italian parsley, chives...

Thanks!

If you are just flavoring a marinade or sauce then leave the leaves on the stalk & remove the entire thing, if you are leaving the herb in the finished dish then chop them as finely as you like. I personally do not mince my herbs, but just tear or roughly chop them. For rosemary I strip the leaves and then just run my chef's knife through them a few times.

You could use an electric chopper, but be careful not to pulverize the leaves; basil can be torn and thyme is tiny so you may not even want to chop the leaves, parsley I rough chop and chive blades I just cup like a scallion.

The flavor of fresh herbs just doesn't compare to dried, but remember not to add them too early or you will kill the flavor.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:45 AM   #3
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As my mother always told me, you want the flavor in the food not on the knife. Most fresh herbs should be torn or lightly chopped and placed directly into the dish. Don't prepare the herbs too early, either.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:50 AM   #4
denisem
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I knew I could count on you guys.

Thanks for the advice, I'm looking forward to playing with my food!
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:35 AM   #5
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I use a mezze-luna (semi-circular chopping blade with the handle on top). Generally if a recipe says 1t of dried I sub 1T fresh. Don't waste fresh herbs in slow cookers - dried actually work best, just stir a little fresh in before serving to brighten the taste.

If you don't want woody stems but do want flavour either tie into a bundle with butcher's string or make into a parcel with muslin, suspend in the pan and fish out before serving.
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