For those of you who grew herbs in your garden this year, you may be wondering what to do with them! What do you do with that much sage, after all? Before you throw your hands up and figure that herb season is over with the first frost, read these tips on how to preserve them so you have fresh from the garden flavor all year long.
1.Preserve Herbs in Olive Oil
Do you discard your herbs once they start to wilt? Well here is a wonderful idea how to save them from going to waste.
You need 1 cup of fresh herbs-leaves only and not the stalk (you can use mint, coriander, parsley or basil),
1 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt.
Pick the leaves from the stalks-the stalks turn the oil brown. Place in a colander and put a kettle of water on to boil. Pour the boiling water over the leaves blanching them and then rinse in cold water immediately. Squeeze the leaves to remove moisture and then place in a blender with the oil and salt and blend. Decant into bottles and keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks only.
Try it with mint, coriander, parsley, basil or make your own chilli oil. Pick some pretty bottles and they will be great for home decor or handmade gift for your friends.
2.Preserve Herbs in Salt
Salt has been used as a preservative since the ancient times. This method is perfect for moist and tender herbs that are hard to dry such as coriander or basil that gets moldy before drying completely. You will need either sea salt or kosher salt and a clean jar. Simply alternate layers of fresh herb leaves and salt until the container is full. The leaves will stay surprisingly flavorful plus you’ll have delicious, aromatic salt that is great for cooking later.
3.Dry Your Herbs
Drying herbs is pretty self explanatory, but the most space intensive way to preserve herbs. If you choose this route, you must have a warm, dry indoor area to hang the herbs. Hang them in small bunches, cover them to keep them clean, and when dry, strip the leaves off the branches and seal in bags or jars. Make sure they are crispy dry before you seal them up.
4.Freeze Herbs with Water
Simply pop the ice cubes straight into the cooking pot. You can also simply place chopped herbs into a ziploc bag, squeeze out all the air, and freeze. Break off a piece when needed.
5.Freezing In Olive Oil
If you cook dishes that are more savory and wouldn’t want to add water to, freezing your herbs in oil is the perfect solution. Use a good extra virgin olive oil and cover chopped herbs in the ice cube trays. Freeze overnight, then pop out of the trays and seal in plastic bags, freeze until ready to use. Add to any dish that has an oil or savory base.