Fresh herbs are the best way to boost flavor and color in your cooking, without much added cost or complexity. It is easy to purchase a jar of dried oregano or thyme, but the fresh bunches of green leaves in the produce section of the store offer much more excitement and versatility. You can incorporate herbs into a variety of dishes - morning, noon or night.
Scrambled eggs, biscuits and quiche are much more delicious and colorful with fresh parsley or thyme. A lunch of tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil would not be the same with the dried variety. Fresh herbs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. It is important to clip off the bottoms of the stems with scissors, and then store the bunch of herbs in a glass filled part-way with water. You may wish to cover the herb bunch with a loose plastic bag to maintain freshness and contain the smell in the refrigerator. You also can wrap the bunch of trimmed herbs in a wet paper towel and store in a Ziploc bag.
When cooking with fresh herbs, it is important to consider the quantity that you will need to yield the same flavor. You should use three to four times the quantity of fresh herbs for a recipe. For example, if a pasta sauce calls for 2 teaspoons of dried thyme, you should add 6 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves. The fresh herbs will render down during the cooking process, but are not as concentrated as their dried counterpart.
I am so happy that summer is just around the corner - the perfect season for growing a pot of fresh herbs on our porch. Keep an eye out for upcoming recipes featuring fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and chives. This blog post includes a few images of delicious recipes with fresh thyme, including lemon-thyme biscuits with salted honey and sausage egg cups with thyme and goat cheese.