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Translating a 'sprig' of herb into more concrete measurements

How many leaves make a sprig? How many sprigs make a bunch? Recipes don't often call for a bunch of parsley or a bunch of watercress, but now that more recipes use herbs we often find the puzzling measure of a ''sprig'' of parsley, basil, thyme, or rosemary.

Parsley being a familiar herb, it is often used as a garnish. So it's easy to use the amount suited to your own taste.

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But when it comes to stronger and less familiar herbs, it's helpful to have a more specific measure than a ''sprig.'' Here are some recommendations.

A basil sprig is the top cluster on a stem including 3 or 4 leaves.

A sprig of thyme, tarragon, or rosemary is 3 inches long or slightly less.

A sprig of parsley could be just one solitary leaflet.

Chives, garlic, and dill can be cut or chopped to make the customary teaspoon or tablespoonful.

Seeds such as caraway, dill, and fennel are easily measured by spoon.

Mint and coriander are often called for in sprigs, but except for garnishing, the more accurate measure requires that the herb be chopped to fit the spoonful measures.

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