FRAGRANT HERB BOUQUETS

{a simple herb bouquet featuring dill, parsley, thyme, oregano, and mint}

I love almost all things green: grass, trees, decorative plants (although I don’t have much of a green thumb), and definitely, unequivocally, edible greens, of which herbs are my favorites. I almost always have a pot of basil on my kitchen counter to cook with, a little vase of fresh mint on my window sill, and my fridge drawer is home to bunches of earthy sage and rosemary, fragrant za’atar and dill, and whatever else is in season. I use herbs rather liberally in my cooking, which has the wonderful effect of not only adding flavor and color to whatever I’m making, but also of making me seem like a more impressive cook than I actually am.

The thing I’ve found, though, is that it gets difficult to use up all the herbs I buy; I like variety—a little bit of this, a sprig of that. The big bunches of individual herbs sold at the supermarket or farmer’s market are often more than I really need (and I suspect this isn’t a problem unique to me), so I started looking for a solution that meant I could still have all the herbs I wanted, without practically drowning in green dressing or pesto for weeks.

Enter herb bouquets. They’re thoughtful, they smell in-cre-di-ble, and they’ll look great sitting in an old jam jar in someone’s kitchen. Make some for your friends, colleagues, and neighbors—anyone you like, really—and I guarantee they’ll be delighted. The other thing you could do is start a herb swap with some friends. It’s pretty simple to do: each of you buys a couple of bunches of herbs and divides them, and then you swap herbs so you each have a little bit of everything.

{with the addition of brown paper–I was, admittedly, not particularly creative the day I shot this and was rushing out the door to my friend Nahla’s house. She makes the best spiced yogurt, but that’s a story for another day}

How-To

The how-to for this is pretty straightforward: select your herbs, group them together, tie with twine, and wrap in brown paper. I also like to put them in old jam jars filled with water so they stay fresh and don’t wilt in transit. You can use any herbs you like, but sturdier herbs tend to do better while really tender herbs like dill and coriander don’t hold up too well. You can make your herb bouquets up to a day in advance and store them in the fridge in a ziplock bag.

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