Have an abundance of herbs? Learn the best 7 ways to preserve them. Freeze, dry, flavour… let’s get into how to preserve herbs!
A herb garden is essential for the farmer, the country gardener, the balcony gardener, and even the urban gardener. One of the things I look forward to the most when the growing season begins is being able to go outside and pick just the perfect amount of herbs that I need. I hate having to buy from the grocery store in those stupid plastic packs and then it just sits in your fridge and goes rotten because you never use it all! #whatawaste That’s the beauty of growing them right outside your door – take only what you need and it won’t go to waste!
Herbs are what makes a dish – they amp up the flavour of whatever you’re cooking!! It’s amazing how cooking typical things like pasta sauce without basil, or tzatziki without dill will just kill the meal. So instead of going back to those grocery store containers during the winter, I want to share with you easy ways to keep the flavour in your kitchen all year!
7 Ways to Preserve Herbs
This was one of the first ways I learned to preserve herbs. I think it might be the quickest way and it definitely keeps the flavour (more so than drying I think!). The key to this method is after you wash the herbs you must pat dry completely, then chop up and place into a mason jar or snap glass container. I find a glass container with some sort of seal top works much better than an average plastic Tupperware. I had oregano, parsley, and basil in the freezer all this winter! They stay fresh and it’s an easy practical way to use up an abundance of herbs.
This is a classic method and another easy way to keep herbs for the winter. If you have a dehydrator you can speed up the process. You can also do this in an oven. Any temp lower than 180 degrees F for about 4 hours. You’ll know when the herbs are done with they’re crunchy, and crumble easy. I recommend placing the whole herb and crumbling after its dry vs. chopping and then drying.
You can also do this the old fashion way and hang dry by tying a bunch of herbs and hanging upside down by a window in the sun. This option takes longer, but it certainly is prettier!
This is another very easy way to preserve herbs. Simply put in herb of choice and let sit! It is recommended that you use a vinegar with at least 5% acidity to prevent fermentation. The best kinds of vinegar are wine, champagne and sherry. The worst kinds of vinegar are apple cider, white distilled and rice.
Ice Cube Squares
This is a fun option!! These are super easy and are like little flavour bombs to just drop in anywhere! All you do is chop up herbs of choice and pop into icecube trays, them simply fill up with olive oil and freeze. You could even add a little garlic! Pop them out when you’re sauteeing veggies or meat and melt in the pan before adding everything else.
Compound butter is a pretty unique way to preserve herbs. Similar to the ice cube squares, you add delicious herbs to butter. Butter that you put on top of a pan steak, or a baked potato, or spread on a piece of bread…. mhmmm. You can store in the fridge for a week and then freeze for several months.
Another quick and delicious way to preserve herbs is to pre-make sauces and then freeze them. This comes in handy down the road, when you’re looking for a quick meal idea. Some of the more popular choices are pesto and tabouli!
This is an option I guess if you still have more leftover herbs after you’ve done the above because it doesn’t last too long. This option requires you to cut a lovely bouquet of herbs and stick them in a jar of water on your table. They will last for about a week, and not only will they fill the room with a unique and lovely scent, but you’ll also get a centrepiece out of it!
I’d love to hear what other things you all do with the abundance of herbs! Let me know in the comments.