Repurposing Leftover Herbs

According to the nonprofit, Feeding America, the United States, discards 80 billion pounds of food waste every year. That is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the entire US food supply.

When it comes to finding ways to save food and reduce waste, small changes can make a big difference. As food waste continues to dominate conversations around the environment and sustainability, we can all do our part to be more conscious consumers of the food we eat and buy.

One of the most common ingredients thrown away in home kitchens is herbs. We’ve all been there - a recipe requires a tablespoon of cilantro, but the store only sells it by the bunch. Once your recipe is completed, you are left with the majority of the bunch still intact with no way to use it. Instead of throwing away the unused herbs, there are ways to repurpose and preserve them to maintain their freshness. One of the easiest and most versatile ways to reuse your herbs is to make herb oils.

If you have herbs that are starting to wilt, blending them with oil and gently heating them over a consistent temperature will give them a new purpose as a delicious and flavorful oil. This oil can be used as a finishing garnish on dishes, in a salad dressing, or even as a base for fresh ceviche.

To do this, place a Copper Core Fry Pan, over high heat and quickly bring the oil mixture to simmer. Reduce the heat to low as soon as it begins to bubble. Let simmer on low for 2-3 minutes. We are using the Copper Core Cookware because the quick reactivity of copper ensures you do not overcook the oil mixture.

By managing waste we can preserve what we have in the back of our refrigerator. This technique can be used for many different herbs and their stems. Check out our recipe for cilantro stem oil below and create your own version with whatever leftover herbs you have



  • Leftover from 1 bunch of cilantro stems and leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil


  1. Puree the herbs and oil together with an All-Clad Immersion Blender until well blended.
  2. Transfer the mixture to an All-Clad Copper Core 10 Inch Fry Pan.
  3. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the mixture is sizzling. Roughly 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the oil from the heat and strain through a prepared sieve. Do not press it, let it drip, or else the oil will become cloudy.
  5. Let cool. Place in a cover container, and chill.

Pro Tip:

Cilantro is the herb of choice in this recipe but this technique can be used with a variety of green herbs.