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Old 12-06-2007, 11:52 PM   #1
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Cool Can I replace fresh herbs with dried ones ?

I want to try a recipe I found in a magazine... It's done mainly with pasta and herbs, without any sauce. The herbs are to be cooked in olive oil before being added to pasta.

The recipe includes:

2 teaspoons chopped sage
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

I know it's always better to use fresh herbs, but I can hardly see myself buy fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley, and use only 2 tablespoons of each, while the remaining will probably get wasted.

So I'm just wondering if it's possible to substitute fresh herbs with dried ones in that recipe, without ruining the whole thing.

And if yes, should I add more dried herbs than specified in the recipe ?



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Old 12-07-2007, 12:03 AM   #2
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So am I understanding you correctly that the recipe calls for the pasta to be tossed in just oil and fresh herbs? If so, then no, dried won't do.

If you were to make a sauce for the pasta that utilises herbs, then yes you can substitute dried ones, generally, but not always, at a quarter of the rate.

As to what you can do with leftover fresh herbs -

- Freeze them - they can be added frozen into soups and casseroles etc, anything where they aren't needed for presentation and only flavour

- Dry them - turn on your oven to the lowest temp, when desired temp is reached, turn oven off and place washed and lightly-dried herbs on a baking sheet (or similar) and place on top rack of oven for a few minutes. When dried, they can be crumbled into jars for later use.

- Store them in the fridge in a glass of water, which you replace regularly. They will keep for several days longer this way.

Alternatively, buy a small tub and plant your preferred herbs in them. They can be grown from seeds or from little tubs from your nursery. They only really require protection from extremes of heat/cold/wind/snow etc and regular watering and sunlight. And they don't need much space.

Another option is use herbs that you will utilise.

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Old 12-07-2007, 01:35 AM   #3
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I would go along with Bilby, except to say: do give those fresh herbs a try. I'm betting you will fall in love with the flavors.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:18 AM   #4
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There are lots of recipes where you can successfully sub dry herbs for fresh but this is defintely not one of them, IMO.

I agree with Bilby and June.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:25 AM   #5
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If you decide to go ahead with the recipe with fresh herbs, I'm sure we can help you use up the rest I cook with fresh herbs all the time, as many of us do, and have a good-sized herb garden in the back yard. If you have other recipes you use dried herbs in, try them with the fresh ones. You'll need to use 3 times as much fresh as dried (1 tbsp. fresh for each tsp. dried). HTH.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:46 AM   #6
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I often replace fresh herbs with dry herbs, and with most recipes that is not a problem. But in this case I don't think you can do it.

I would absolutely go for the fresh herbs in this case, and then find some other recipes with fresh rosemary and thyme. This way you can try more exiting recipes and you get the most from the money you spend.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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I agree with everyone else...the dish just wouldn't be the same with dry herbs.

We live quite a ways away from markets with a variety of fresh herbs. So when I do have the opportunity to buy lots of fresh herbs, I wash them & freeze them. And them use the frozen "fresh" herbs in soups, sautes, stews, etc. It works out great, I definitely recommend it.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:11 AM   #8
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Cut the quantity of each herb in half, leaving the amount of everything else the same. If you don't like how it comes out, then plant fresh herbs in a window box for next time, and you can use them at your leisure.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:13 AM   #9
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The issue with this is that dried herbs and spices give up their flavor to the surrounding food slowly over the cooking process. Fresh herbs flavor food almost instantly, but lose their flavor quickly.

This recipe sounds like a very quick cooking process, so the dried herbs just won't have time to flavor anything.

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Old 01-05-2008, 11:22 AM   #10
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Sage and thyme must be fresh for this pasta topping. Dried rosemary can be used, but fresh will give a better, brighter flavor. There are some herbs I wouldn't use dried because the flavor changes completely and won't give you that fresh herb flavor and those are Basil and Italian parsley. If you smell those two herbs fresh and then smell them dried in a jar you'll see what I mean. Not even close! They can actually ruin a good dish regardless of what it is. Most good chefs recommend never using those two herbs in a dried state. So would I.

And always add fresh herbs at the end of the cooking time. They lose their flavor quickly when heated.

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