Freezing Herbs Packs A Great Meal Punch!
This is undoubtedly our favourite season of all. As we mentioned in our last article, our vegetable gardens are brimming with produce, and just browsing the farmers markets it is clear we are at the height of the growing season. It’s easy to take for granted the bounty that is at our fingertips, so it’s a good idea to start thinking of ways to harvest even the simplest things like herbs. Before these aromatic gifts wilt away with the change of seasons, we suggest you freeze some of your favourite herbs. You can freeze in melted butter, olive oil or broth or roll into easy-to-store sheets. Which ever way you choose preserving herbs will allow you to have fresh pesto in December and easy to cook aromatics all season long.
To prepare herbs for freezing, wash herbs, discarding the stems and damaged leaves. Spin leaves dry in a salad spinner or dry well with paper towels. We love the silicone ice cube trays we have in-store. It’s easy to just pop out the cubes and refill with your next batch of herbs butter or oil. More importantly, they don’t leave any residue or leftover flavour when you make plain ice cubes for your next cocktail. Remember to label your storage bags with which herbs your froze because it can be difficult to tell them apart after freezing.
- Pack about 1½ tsp of hearty stemmed herbs such as chopped rosemary, sage or oregano leaves into an ice cube try. Cover with melted butter or olive oil. Freeze, then transfer cubes into storage bags. When needed, thaw cubes and use under the skin when roasting chicken, drizzle over popcorn, spread on sandwiches or add to mashed or roasted potatoes and/or vegetables.
- Place tender herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley, dill or chives in a food processor with ½ cup olive oil for every 2 cups of leaves. Pulse the processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time until you get a chunky paste and all of the leaves are chopped. To pack for freezing, put 1 cup herb oil in a 1-quart Ziploc bag, then flatten and spread mixture to make a thin layer. Freeze flat. Do not add cheese or nuts – you want to make sure the herb oil is adaptable for a wide variety of uses. When you need to use some, break off a chunk and allow mixture to thaw. These herbs are particularly good in soups, stews, pastas and salad dressings where vivid flavours can transform an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one.
- Have a little fun with flavour combinations too. Pack mixed herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary and chives into ice cube trays then cover with broth (vegetable, chicken or beef). These combo cubes are delicious when added to slow cooker stews or roasts or sautéed vegetables like beans or zucchini in the cold depths of winter.
These Are Perfect For This Recipe
Preserve your favorite fresh herbs with this handy freezer tray. Simply pack cups with the herbs of your choice and seal using the innovative collapsible lid—each cup holds 1½ oz. when collapsed and 2½ oz. when fully extended.
Use each cup for a separate herb or create your own tasty spice blend. Freezing herbs helps protect flavors and aromas and preserves herbs for year-round usw. BUY NOW