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Substituting Fresh Herbs for Dried: What to Know

Q. If a recipe calls for fresh herbs, can I substitute dried? What is the proper conversion? For example, if a recipe calls for a sprig of fresh rosemary or a ¼ cup of fresh basil, how much of the dried herbs should I use? – Don, Menasha

A. The quick answer to your question is yes, dried herbs can be substituted for fresh. Our general rule of conversion for using dried herbs is to use 1/3 of the original quantity of fresh herbs. Using your ¼ cup of fresh basil as an example, it is reasonable to substitute 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves in place of the ¼ cup (which is equivalent to 4 tablespoons) of fresh basil. A sprig of fresh rosemary is a little trickier to convert because each “sprig” varies in size. Depending on the recipe, I would probably use about a tablespoon of dried rosemary leaves in place of a sprig. Keep in mind that this conversion is for dried herb leaves, not dried herbs that are ground. The other consideration when substituting dried herbs for fresh is that they are similar in flavor, but not identical. As an example, consider the flavor of a dried raisin compared to a fresh grape.

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