The Easiest Hack To Strip Fresh Herbs, Approved By Giada De Laurentiis

A well-stocked spice cabinet is essential for any home cook to help create a variety of flavorful dishes. Of course, the spice cabinet is likely to contain its share of dried herbs as well, and dried herbs have plenty of uses for the home cook. Their flavors are far more concentrated than their fresh counterparts, and unlike fresh herbs, they can hold up to extended cooking, and can even get more flavorful with it (though not all herbs dry well) (via The Spruce Eats).

But nothing can really beat the experience of fresh herbs. They might not always be in season, but can add a burst of fresh flavor to practically any dish. Fresh herbs take a little bit of more work than their dried counterparts, but also have the benefit of adding the brightest flavors to whatever dish you're cooking (per Cucina Antica). One of the most important steps in using fresh herbs is prepping them correctly. Depending on the herb, it's as simple as chopping them, but for herbs like thyme or rosemary that come attached to the stem, it's necessary to strip the leaves from the stem. Thankfully, Giada de Laurentiis has come up with the perfect hack for stripping your herbs.

The quickest way to strip fresh herbs

There's more than one way to skin a chicken, or to strip a bundle of fresh thyme. A common method used by home cooks is to pinch the stem and run their fingers along the stem, but for some fragile herbs it doesn't always work and can scatter the leaves about. Giada's tip? "String the sprig of herbs from the inside of the colander and pull from the outside. The beauty of this method is that all the bits of herb conveniently get caught in the colander — less mess!" This method is quick and clean, setting you up for success in the kitchen.

Other tricks for using fresh herbs involve making sure that you're keeping them fresh and using them properly — different fresh herbs cook differently. Some more delicate herbs like basil and cilantro are best added to dishes at the end of cooking to preserve their flavor, while others, such as parsley and rosemary, can hold up to a longer cooking process (via The Scramble). While dried herbs are always going to be a convenient way to cook, nothing can truly replace the bright punch of fresh herbs.