Rachael Ray's Time-Saving Advice For Prepping Herbs

While it's great to have a variety of dried herbs and spices ready to flavor your meals at a moment's notice, if you're not cooking with fresh herbs, you're missing out. As Mariposa Farms explains, fresh herbs will level up your food by making it taste absolutely delicious. They also add an incredible fragrance that just can't be replicated with dried herbs. Not to mention, in many cases, they can add a great burst of color to whatever you're making.

Once you learn the tips and tricks for how to store fresh herbs correctly so that they don't wilt or spoil by the time you're ready to use them, there's just one stumbling block that can trigger home cooks to reach for dried herbs instead of the fresh alternatives: the preparation required.

You're not going to be devoting hours to chopping fresh herbs unless you're preparing restaurant quantities of them. But it does take a few minutes longer to chop fresh herbs than it does to just grab a jar of dried herbs and sprinkle it over the dish you're making. Luckily, cookbook author and television personality Rachael Ray shared a great time-saving tip for those who avoid fresh herbs because of the effort required to prepare them for inclusion in a dish — and it couldn't be simpler.

Forget chopping entirely — make an herb bundle instead

As Rachael Ray explains, when you're looking to speed up the cooking process or simply don't feel like chopping a mountain of fresh herbs, it's possible to get a ton of flavor from those fresh herbs simply by infusing them into whatever you're making, per The Rachael Ray Show.

Ray's suggestion is to have kitchen twine ready in your arsenal and use it to tie the stems of various herbs into a bundle before tossing them into a pan. If you've ever put together a bouquet garni to add that great herbaceous flavor to a dish, you've already essentially taken this shortcut. Although, as Masterclass explains, the bouquet garni typically has a specific combination of herbs, whereas Ray's suggestion is more flexible.

Obviously, this quick hack won't work for cold dishes. However, it's effective for a huge range of hot dishes, whether you're making a huge pot of soup or stew or just heating some butter for a sauce.

If you're making a large batch of something that simmers for quite some time and are worried about having to fish out all the herbs if your twine doesn't hold, there's a quick and easy solution for that as well. As Culinary Hill outlines, you can bundle all those fresh herbs in cheesecloth and use the twine to make an easily removable sachet.