Fresh Herbs

freshherbsIn Idaho, a wide variety of culinary herbs are grown in greenhouses and outdoors. Greenhouse production allows some local herbs to be available almost year-around but most are grown outdoors and available only seasonally. Purple Sage Farms in Middleton, one of Idaho’s largest herb producers, has begun to dry herbs which further extends availability. You can find Idaho herbs in grocery stores and at farmers markets.

Fresh Herbs Basics

What to Look for: Fresh herbs are delicate. Look for herbs that are bright green and appear to hold their shape. Avoid herbs that are browning or wilting.

How to Store: Wash herbs with a salad spinner with cold water. Swirl the herbs gently around in the water to loosen any debris. Drain the water, then spin the herbs dry and lay them on a layer of paper towels and pat gently with more paper towels to blot away any excess moisture. Store by arranging them lengthwise in a single layer on a slightly damp paper towel, rolling them up like a jelly roll, then transfer the bundle to a plastic zipper lock bag and store in the refrigerator.

Fun Facts about Mint

  • Idaho ranks 3rd in the nation for mint production with 13,000 acres harvested annually.
  • Idaho grows both spearmint and peppermint.
  • Toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum manufacturers use about 90% of mint oil.
  • One drop of mint oil can produce over 30 sticks of gum.