The Fresser

More Fretter than Fresser? How to make your food go further (Part One - leaves and herbs)

Which Jewish mother is not panicked by empty supermarket shelves? I'm starting a new series of tips and hacks to help you take control.

March 19, 2020 14:36
Coronavirus has us all going crazy. People are shopping like it’s Yom Tov — and it’s far from tov out there. 
With so many food items out of stock already (when did you last see an egg?) you may be wanting to be especially careful about getting the maximum life out of your stocks and supplies. 
So, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks to keep you going. First up some of the fastest to go off - the greens.

Fresh herbs and salad leaves: 

Salad leaves: 

Buy whole lettuces – they last longer than bags of leaves. When you get the lettuce home, but off the tired, browning end and place the lettuce, cut side down in a bowl of water. It’s essentially like a flower, that needs to keep on drinking. You can keep it going up to two weeks that way. A friend with a cooking school in St Albans called The Cobbled Kitchen, shared that one.


Soft herbs and spring onions:

Trim them as you'd trim the ends of flowers, stand in a jam jar or jug containing a little water and cover with a plastic bag. If you have the original bag, just cut one end open (the bottom) and leave the bag over the leaves on top. Store parsley, mint and coriander in the fridge and basil on the counter as it needs light. There is some great advice here

Woody herbs (like rosemary and thyme):

Wash these and pat dry. Lay in one layer on a some damp kitchen towel and place in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

On the turn? 

If you do have a bag of leaves - from salads leaves like rocket to spinach and even kale - that need using up sooner rather than later, or herbs on the turn then there is actually quite a lot you can do with them: 
  • blitz them with some oil, nuts and cheese to make a pesto – play around with variations for different herbs – there’s a lovely coriander pesto recipe here.
  • add them to your soup ingredients – I often chuck an entire bunch of parsley, basil or coriander into my soups before blitzing it up to give them a big oomph of flavour - it's what soup is for! 
  • freeze parsley stalks for stocks and soups – I’d like to pretend I freeze my vegetable peelings too for this purpose, but my freezer is too jammed with other leftovers, so it goes out to my compost bin. If you do have freezer space, save the peelings and every so often, chuck them into a vegetable soup. 
  • you can also make herb butters for fish or pasta by chopping them finely and mixing them into soft butter with some seasoning. Roll into a sausage shape in cling film and refrigerate or freeze so you can slice off a piece as you need it. 


Stay well - I'll be back with some freezer tips in a few days plus ideas on how to prep for Pesach.

March 19, 2020 14:36

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