Don’t Let Basil or Cilantro Go to Waste

If you find yourself struggling to use up bunches of fresh basil and cilantro before the tender leaves spoil, extend their life by incorporating them into sauces and condiments.

To preserve basil, blend a cup of packed leaves with a cup of mayonnaise plus garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. The resulting basil mayo is wonderful on sandwiches or in potato salad, observes chez cherie, who says it will last five days in the fridge. Packing basil in sea or kosher salt is another option. "It will look ugly, but the flavor will be there if you need it in cooked dishes," algct says.

A handful of cilantro blended with Greek yogurt and a jalapeño is "great on tacos or any Mexican dish - cool and spicy," says jmcarthur8. Make an Indian-inspired cilantro-mint chutney for dipping samosas into, or a Canary Islands–style cilantro sauce to serve with potatoes. Both keep well in the fridge.

Discuss: Ideas for leftover fresh basil?
Favorite ways to use up a giant bunch of cilantro?