Warm falls days and crisp evening air is here- at least in the Midwest. Summer plants are still producing the last of their wares as the golden leaves fall around them. But delicate herbs like basil, parsley and oregano won’t last much longer as nights grow colder.
Freezing fresh herbs puts our taste buds one step closer to the summer during the unavoidable Midwest blizzards.
Do you grow your own herbs?
Are you are participating in a CSA program?
Do you have a handful of herbs that are threatening to go bad before you can use them?
Now you can save them! Did you know you can preserve fresh herbs? It’s as simple as chopping (or pulsing in a mini processor) and tossing with oil, then pouring into ice cube trays for freezing.
Dried herbs are great in their own right, but they are really meant for longer cooking processes like in stews and crock pot cooking. Fresh herbs can be sprinkled on top of anything you make, cooked or not. Swirl into a bowl of soup or stew for added flavor, drizzle over rice and pasta to transform bland to bold or bring life to simple salad greens. Fresh herbs add flavor to everything while delivering a load of antioxidants, why not use fresh every chance you can? Imagine fresh pesto in January!
Fresh chives, basil, cilantro, tarragon, dill, parsley, even sage and rosemary all work great in this chopped/pulsed-with-oil method. If you’re avoiding oil for any reason, simple use broth or water instead. Bring summer to your winter.
It’s as simple as chopping herbs with oil and freezing in an ice cube tray.
Freezing Fresh Herbs
Olive oil (or broth/water)
Ice cube tray
Remove any unwanted stems from the fresh herbs. Loosely pack a mini processor and hit the pulse button while drizzling in a little olive oil. You want enough to oil to coat all the herbs, but not so much that you have a vinaigrette on your hands.
Or simply chop the herbs and toss with a little oil.
If you’re avoiding plastic you can skip this step: Lining the ice cube tray with a layer of plastic wrap will make it so much easier to pop the the herb cubes out. Simply lay plastic wrap about twice the length of the tray across the top of the tray.
Spoon the herb mixture into each cube (push the plastic wrap down to form the cube, if using).
Place in the freezer until frozen. Pop the cubes out and place in a freezer safe bag or glass container.
Label it — name and date. Place back in the freezer until ready to use.