Preserving Fresh Herbs

Did you ever have a basil harvest that was a little too abundant?  Or have to buy way more cilantro than you needed when the recipe called for only a tablespoon?  While there is nothing like the tremendous flavor boost most dishes get from fresh herbs, they can be expensive and tend to go bad before they get used up.  If, like me, you have tossed out too many slimy bags of wilted herbs, here is a tip for you.

Next time you have more fresh herbs than you can use at one time, try freezing them in olive oil.

Take the leaves off the stems and put them in a food processor or blender.  Give them a good spin and then slowly start adding olive oil.  As soon as the oil is incorporated, stop blending and spoon them into an ice cube tray.  Top off each section with more olive oil until they are covered (this helps the herbs to stay green).  Pop them into the freezer for a couple of hours and when they have hardened, place the cubes into a sealable plastic bag.

You now have all the goodness and flavor of fresh herbs anytime you want it.  Toss a cube into a pot of soup or sauce.  Or defrost a couple and use as a pizza topping. Blend into a smoothie or add to an omelet.  Each cube equals about one tablespoon of minced fresh herbs. You can pretty much use them just as you would fresh herbs.

I’ve shown basil here but this tip works equally well with parsley, cilantro, mint, oregano and most other herbs.  Preserving fresh herbs is not only economical and easy,  I think you’ll also find that the flavor is amazing!

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