prepara.jpgI’m a big fan of herbs, especially basil. I grew up in a Persian household and herbs were always served with dinner. Wrapping feta cheese and fresh mint, dill, parsley or basil in warm Persian bread is especially delicious. I could live off that meal and never get tired of it.

My mom frequently gets large batches of fresh herbs from her Iranian grocer. She washes them thoroughly, dries them, and places them in Ziploc bags with a paper towel to absorb any moisture. My mother has green-thumb magic, so the herbs stay fresh for at least a month. When I lived in Vancouver, she shared her stash with me, but now that I’m in Toronto, I have to buy them at a regular grocery store, which of course, charges more for a smaller amount. I could never figure out how to make these precious herbs last.  Once in a while, I’ll stumble across a farmer’s market and see beautiful looking herbs but I know I won’t be able to use them immediately, so I have to pass.

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I turned to Pinterest for a solution, and discovered the Prepara Herb Savor. I was lucky enough to have Best Buy send me a sample of this kitchen gadget, and here is my review.

Unboxing

The packaging is clean and simple. Once you open the box, the gadget is nicely encased in a plastic mold. It’s not too fussy and you can easily repackage it. This makes it easy to return the product, which unfortunately, I’m obligated to do after I finish testing it for this review.

There’s no assembly required because the Prepara is already put together. The base is attached to the shaft. A stopper is at the side of the base, so you can add water when needed. This makes maintenance very easy. Inside, there is a silver tray that acts as a colander. You can tell the designers are all about form, functionality and modernity. And unlike so many other gadgets, it doesn’t look tacky in your refrigerator. Even Oprah considers it one of her favourite things (watch this video to see Oprah sing its praises). She’s got fancy taste!

For the purpose of this review, I decided to compare the Prepara with a similar DIY method I found on Pinterest. I took a regular glass, filled it with about a quarter cup of water, put in some basil, and covered it with a large Ziploc bag. I placed it in the refrigerator next to the Prepara, only to play fair. However, some say it works better at room temperature. Before I placed the basil in the cup, I made sure to wash and dry it.

Results 

After eight days, the Prepara was the winner. The DIY version didn’t survive the week. The basil looked old and shriveled up. Granted, it lasted for four or five days, so if that works for you, then go ahead. With the Prepara, I have to note that there were a few basil leaves that turned black. Because my refrigerator door shelf is pretty wide (it can store a six-pack of beer), the Prepara sometimes fell over when I opened it too fast, and that could have been the reason. There was also some water spillage. For the most part, however, the basil was vibrantly green. 

So, that’s after eight days. Great! But the box says up to three weeks. The hard part for me was not eating my basil.

At two and a half weeks, there were more black leaves, probably around 40% of the batch. But I’m not complaining. The Prepara works for someone as lazy as me. Seriously, placing a Ziploc bag over a glass made my fridge look ugly. I love the Prepara because of its clean design, small size, and ability to keep my herbs fresher longer. This kitchen gadget can pack a decent amount of herbs, perfect for any single person. Since I like a lot of herbs, this can come across as being too compact.

What’s cooking, Basil?

If I could, I would add basil to everything. I’ve mentioned wrapping warm bread, feta cheese, and basil. It makes the perfect snack. Try it; you’ll fall in love. Here’s how to add basil to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.

Breakfast:

Basil and tomatoes is like Batman and Robin of super heroes. They compliment one another. Now, let’s add an egg and we have one savory breakfast meal. Start your morning with this delicious Tomato Basil Frittata Recipe from Hold The Grain.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee (or cooking fat of choice)
  • 1 Big handful of spinach or kale
  • ½ Teaspoon dried basil (or a few teaspoons of fresh chopped basil)
  • 1 Large tomato, thinly sliced
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper.
  3. Melt the ghee in the cast iron skillet, and add the spinach/kale. Season with salt and pepper and the basil.
  4. Once the spinach has wilted (1 min), pour the whisked eggs into the pan. Set the tomato slices on top of the eggs.
  5. Let the eggs cook on the stove top for 1-2 minutes, until the edges of the eggs begin to set.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are fully set, 8-10 minutes.
  7. Remove the frittata from the oven, slice and garnish with avocado and fresh basil (optional).

Lunch:

If you are in the mood for a flavorful salad, then make yourself a Basil Pear Salad with Lemon Honey Dressing. This recipe is from Ciao Florentina and it just sounds fresh.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches fresh basil, leaves only
  • 3 golden pears, cored & sliced or 1 mango
  • ⅓ c walnuts, toasted or candied
  • 1 oz fresh honey goat cheese, crumbled into big chances
  • 2 sprigs purple basil, optional
Lemon Honey Dressing:
  • the zest from 1 lemon, organic
  • the juice from 1 lemon + more or less to taste
  • 3 tbsp raw organic honey + more or less to taste
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 

Directions

  1. Gently toss together all the basil leaves and pears in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the salad dressing ingredients, honey, olive oil and lemon juice until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your taste with the sea salt and red pepper flakes.
  3. Pour the dressing over the basil and pears and gently toss to coat just before serving.
  4. Sprinkle the walnuts over the salad and serve with the chunks of goat cheese over the top.

Dinner:

Let’s add basil to your next pasta meal. My mouth is watering over this Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta recipe from Straw Mary Smith. Use your favorite penne or pasta of choice, either in regular or gluten free options.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups penne or other noodles, regular or gluten free
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lb uncooked shrimp (about 20 medium), tails removed, peeled and deveined*
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne (ground red pepper)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, plus more to taste (from 1 lemon)
  • ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • freshly grated parmesan (optional) 
 

Directions

  1. Add the penne to a pot of boiling water, along with a dash of salt, and cook until al dente.
  2. In the meantime, melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place the shimp in a small bowl. Add some salt, pepper, and the pinch of cayenne. Toss together, then put in a single layer into the saucepan. Cook the shrimp about 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove to a cutting board. (Optional: Cut each shrimp into 2 or 3 pieces, so you get a piece in every bite.)
  3. With same saucepan, reduce heat to low. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then add lemon juice and heavy cream. Stir together until warm. Stir in lemon zest. Add salt, pepper, and more lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle in basil and stir for about 1 minute to soften. Stir in shrimp to warm.
  4. Drain the penne and add into the pan. Toss everything together, and add as much parmesan as you’d like, if desired. Scoop right out of the pan to bowls and serve.

Give the Prepara Herb Savor a try in your kitchen, and have fresh herbs whenever you need them. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Oh man, I wish our Chef at CHQ would feature these meals at the Hub, (@ThePej, can you have a chat with him Smiley Wink?) I can already see the line forming up, cutlery in hand.

  2. Well, to be fair @ThePej, all these recipes are mouthwatering, and although my schedule doesn’t coincide with Breakfast hours at the Hub, I know that the rest of the staff would enjoy the Tomatoe Basil frittata, I can come in for lunch and enjoy the Basil pear salad with lemon dressing and save the Lemon basil shrimp pasta for my dinner shift. Then again, all the recipes you posted are tempting, the Crab and Brie grilled cheese sandwich is another winner.

     

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