How to use leftover herbs


1. Herb oil

Making your own flavoured oil is a resourceful way to use up your leftover herbs, stalks and all. Any soft herbs will do, such as parsley, basil, coriander or chives. It takes just 20 mins of prep, plus overnight straining. Use the finished product in salad dressings, drizzled over dishes for a herby punch or as dip for bread.

Herb Oil Recipe

2. Pesto

Whizz up leftover basil leaves with olive oil, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts to make a winning homemade pesto. This classic Italian recipe is ready in just 10 mins – consider your basil transformed!

If you have any sage to spare, give this simple sage pesto a go. It works beautifully with roasted butternut squash. We have more sage recipes here.

More like this

A jar of homemade pesto with a spoon and basil leaves

3. Butter

The flavoured butter trend often does the rounds on social media, hailed as a creative and low-cost way to level up your butter game.

Fancy trying it for yourself? Our easy herb butter turns a small bunch of parsley, tarragon and chives, along with lemon, garlic and black peppercorns, into a beautifully rustic butter. Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl with the soft butter and season generously with salt. It’s lovely to spread onto bread or even for self-basting a chicken or turkey.

Alternatively, beat leftover sage into butter to make a simple yet effective whipped sage butter.

If you’re left with more dill than you needed, mix ½ tsp of it with lemon juice to make a herby butter, as seen in this effortless prawn linguine.

Herb and Garlic Butter Recipe

4. Cordial

Work leftover basil, into your own refreshing cordial, with peaches, sugar and lemon juice. To serve, dilute with chilled sparkling or tonic water, or add to bourbon and ginger beer for a fruity cocktail.

Or take a look at our basil recipes for more ways with this fragrant herb.

Peach Cordial Recipe

5. Chutney

Avoid food waste by turning leftovers into this coriander chutney. It may sound difficult, but it’s easy: take a small bunch of coriander, along with some spices, sugar, vinegar and oil, and blend with 2-3 tbsp water until smooth. It’s the perfect accompaniment to stews, curries and toasties.

Alternatively, make this vibrant mint chutney and drizzle over masala French toast for brunch with a twist.

Meatball stew with coriander chutney

6. Hummus

Breathe new life into coriander by making a spin on hummus. Divide between plates and top with chunky wedges of harissa-coated cauliflower in this sophisticated vegan main.

Check out more ways to use up coriander in our collection of coriander recipes.

Roasted harissa cauliflower with warm coriander hummus and dukkah

7. Breads

Take your fridge-raiding skills up a notch by converting leftover parsley into homemade crusty soda bread. If you’re a skeptic when it comes to bread-making, know that this soda bread requires no kneading or proving, and takes minutes to prepare. Once made, you can use it in this easy yet impressive clams recipe to soak up hot, garlicky butter. It’s the perfect dish for impressing without the hassle.

Or turn your hand to these delightfully easy mini herb, green olive and buttermilk cornbreads – scattered with basil, parsley or dill for a final flourish.

Clams in Garlic Butter Recipe with Soda Bread

8. Soups

Soup almost always tastes better when it’s homemade. Flex your soup-making muscles in this easy carrot soup – chuck a small bunch of leftover coriander into the mix after you’ve blitzed the veg together and you’re left with a delicately fragrant, warming soup.

Alternatively, opt for a lighter and fresher feel with this summer vegetable soup, packed with peas, courgette, green beans and any leftover basil, parsley or mint.

Carrot and coriander soup in a bowl with spicy flatbread croutons

9. Yogurt dip

Revive straggling herbs by making a classic tzatzki. Combine your herbs, (dill, mint), with grated cucumber, yogurt, garlic, herbs and lemon juice and it’s ready to serve with toasted pittas or crisps as a dip, spooned over grilled meat or fish, or showcased on a platter and topped with veg fritters, kofte or savoury pastries.

Another savvy idea is using dill to liven up vegan yogurt. Mix your chopped dill with olive oil, lemon, chilli flakes and vegan yogurt in a small bowl, then season well with salt and pepper. We like ours dolloped onto nutty orzo in this flavourful vegan dish.

A bowl of tzatziki with a flatbread dipped in

10. Quick dessert lift

If you’re left with extra bits of tarragon, they work brilliantly in a fresh and fruity pud. Toss a handful of finely chopped tarragon with quartered strawberries, a little caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave to macerate for 20 mins, then serve with cream or ice cream.

Close up of tarragon

More ways to use leftover herbs

  • Did you know you can freeze your herbs? Simply mash your leftovers into butter, roll into a baking paper sausage and freeze. Alternatively, mix your herbs with olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays.
  • Use up coriander and parsley in this zippy homemade chimichurri, which is the perfect accompaniment to steak.

Fancy growing your own? Find out how to grow your own herbs in this trusty guide.

#leftover #herbs

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