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Avoid wasting the fresh herbs wilting away in the back of your fridge with these ideas on how to use up parsley, dill, basil and spearmint.

{Note: This blog post originally included my article on Food Waste and Climate Change. It has since been moved to my brand new “Articles” category. The ideas and recipe for using up leftover herbs remain here}

I recently ended up with some vegan cream cheese that was pretty awful. I have drastically cut down on cow dairy and I’m in the process of looking for a good plant based alternative. This one did not make the cut. Even so, I was not going to throw it out so I looked for a way to make it a bit more palatable. Just when I thought I would have to resort to adding a whole load of sugar, I remembered to check Pinterest. And sure enough, it gave me the idea for this dip. And it meant I could use up some herbs I had lying around too… win win! (Details in the recipe section below)

I also had some spearmint so I thought I’d look for a similar solution. I found this delicious chutney that is perfect with poppadoms or naan, or even homemade pitta chips (make sure they are salty, recipe here). If you eat meat you could try it with lamb. I adjusted the quantities according to what I had on hand and ended up making about half the recipe with a little less onion. You can start with small amounts and taste-test and adjust as you go on (e.g. add a bit more sugar, a bit more vinegar etc). See the cream cheese dip and mint chutney in the photo below.

Dips with Leftover Herbs and an Article on Food Waste www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a ceramic platter with two small bowls of dips on it. Around the bowls are some homemade pitta chips.

If you have too much parsley for the cream cheese dip mentioned above, you could try this one too. It’s based on a traditional Greek recipe from the Cyclades islands.

Ideas for Dips with Leftover Herbs www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A ceramic dish with a vibrant Greek parsley dip garnished with small wedges of lemon, capers and chopped chives. The dish is sitting on a piece of denim and is surrounded by triangular homemade pitta chips.

For leftover fresh basil I urge you to make this gorgeous vinaigrette here. Drizzle it on a galette like in the recipe or mix it into a summery pasta salad with ripe tomatoes and peaches! Yum.

Dips with Leftover Herbs and an Article on Food Waste www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A small bowl with a vibrant green dressing made with basil. To the left a piece of galette with a spoon full of vinaigrette lying next to it.

For fresh thyme and rosemary check out my olive oil dip here. If you have lots you can double or triple the recipe without the oil and balsamic, then divide the mixture into an ice cube tray, cover with some olive oil and freeze. When frozen, pop the cubes into a freezer bag. Then whenever you feel like some dip you can defrost a cube, add evoo and balsamic, and hey presto!

Dips with Leftover Herbs and an Article on Food Waste www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A small ceramic plate with olive oil dip in it, the chopped herbs in the centre are separated from the oil and there are a couple of vinegar drops on the oil surface.

With a bit of imagination we don’t need to ever waste herbs!

Let’s see that cream cheese dip:


plant based cream cheese (or regular)

parsley, roughly chopped

dill, roughly chopped

garlic, raw or roasted

sea salt

pepper, freshly ground, black or white

cayenne pepper (just a bit)

olive oil if necessary (just a bit so the dip doesn’t go runny)

Step 1

Place the cream cheese, parsley, dill, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne in a food processor and whizz until incorporated and spreadable. Add olive oil if desired.

Step 2

Serve with vegetable sticks, pitta chips, rusks, bread or anything else you fancy.

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