How to get fresh, affordable herbs -

How to get fresh, affordable herbs

Fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme can add flavor to any dish, but they can be expensive. Not to worry. Chef Nathan Lyon is here with some money-saving tips for buying and storing fresh herbs.

Before writing cook books and hosting food shows, Lyon worked at the Hollywood Farmer's Market in Los Angeles -- which is exactly where America Now caught up with him to talk about buying fresh herbs.

"If you like fresh herbs, forget about the grocery store," says Nathan. "The farmer's market has the best herbs to be found. And, in fact, when you compare it to the grocery store, you'll get twice as much. They're twice as fresh for half the amount of money. You can't beat that!"

But how do you store fresh herbs?

"Each of the herbs comes bound in either a little twisty-tie or a rubber band," says Lyon."When you get them home, take these off. Take a paper towel, dampen it, squeeze out almost all the liquid and wrap the fresh herbs in that paper towel, in a zippy bag that's perforated. And into the crisper drawer. That'll last about two weeks."

Now what about one of Nathan's favorite herbs? Basil.

"This is the only herb that I know of that you don't want to put in the fridge," says Lyon. "You would treat fresh basil like fresh flowers. Cut off the bottom half-inch, put them in water, let them sit on the counter top for you to enjoy all week long. Now if you have too much basil, lucky you -- because you can make fresh pesto, freeze it in the freezer and then you can have fresh pesto all the time!"

So, remember, the best herbs are not in the grocery store. They're in your local area farmer's market for pennies on the dollar!

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