Chatelaine Kitchen

Farmers' market produce: Best recipes for fresh herbs

Irene Ngo shares her favourite farmers market produce and the best recipes for fresh herbs once you're home.

how to store herbs, recipes, farmers' market

This week, I found an abundance of fresh herbs at the farmers’ market. There’s a particular vendor at my local market that sells all sorts of herb seedlings, straight from the farm. In the past couple of years, I’ve been lucky to live in places with an outdoor space so I can grow my own herbs outdoor in the summertime (and by growing, what I really mean is buying seedlings from the markets and re-planting them in larger pots). I’ve also been known to kill plants from under-watering, so keeping my herbs outdoors really extends their lifespan (thank you summer rainfalls).

I tend to go overboard with herb planting, but the ones I use most often in the summer are basil, cilantro and mint. I love basil for its fresh flavour and add it to basically any and every salad and pasta dish. It’s also great in grilled dishes such as flank steak with tomatoes and basil, and of course the classic pesto.

I also use cilantro all the time, especially in this summer staple shrimp and mango noodle salad, this zippy carrot-cilantro salad and cilantro-lime rice.

Mint is a must in my favourite summer cocktail, the mojito. If I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll add a few fresh raspberries, strawberries or peaches to liven it up! Mint is also refreshing in salads like this watermelon & cucumber salad and miso-maple tofu rolls.

After bringing your herbs home from the market, make sure to store them properly. Here are two ways that will give your fresh herbs a longer shelf life.