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Is It Necessary to Stem Herbs?

Do You Take the Time to Stem Herbs?

Whenever I watch Giada de Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, or Ina Garten on the Food Network, I'm always a little surprised at their use of herb stems. None of them take the time to remove the leaves from the stem and simply chop the whole thing. For some reason, I don't like to include stems and always take the time to pick the leaves off of softer herbs like basil, sage, parsley, and cilantro. I'm wondering, is this a weird habit that I alone practice? How do you feel about herb stems?

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Segat1 Segat1 6 years
I pick the leaves off the woody herbs, but chop most of the stem for the juicier ones. Sometimes when I buy too much, I make a quick whiz of the leftovers (like cilantro) with some olive oil and salt, so it's like a firm paste, then i freeze them so if i need a little bit, then its right there in the freezer.
pharm_chick pharm_chick 6 years
i chop up the part thats like, the root; i buy cilantro and mint in indian stores and they sell it that way. once its clean and any rotten leaves are picked off, i wrap it in a paper towel and keep it in the cooler. or this great metal herb storage container with holes for aeration
crazykittylady crazykittylady 7 years
I pick the leaves, but I save the stems in bags in the freezer for use when I make stock.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
Any cilantro lover will tell you - use the stems. Do a taste test yourself, a ton of flavor! Agree with Spectra, I think it is wasteful; even though I grow all my own herbs.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I discard the stems for the tougher things like thyme and rosemary, but when I'm using basil, cilantro, parsley, etc., I use the stems as well. They add a lot of flavor and I think it's wasteful to not use them at all.
Food Food 7 years
Yes, I thought everyone did! I guess it's a contentious point. Some people think stems have no flavor, while others think it has plenty of flavor.
courtneyd courtneyd 7 years
It just depends for me. Things like parsley and cilantro, I'll just chop the stems and leaves, and pull out any big chunks of stem I see before using it. Basil, thyme, rosemary - those are all so easy to pull the leaves off, so I do separate leaves/stems.
laurenot laurenot 7 years
Only if it's necessary for presentation!
girlA girlA 7 years
I don't like using the stems either--I always remove the leaves.
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