A few days ago, my girls and I went to a local farmers market and I went a bit crazy buying herbs. They were so fresh and fragrant. I love cooking with fresh herbs as they bring so much flavor and color to any dish. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the picture of the herbs I purchased. I wish you guys could smell them. Dill, parsley, cilantro, mint, rosemary, thyme and basil… Heaven 🙂
Personally, I prefer cooking with fresh herbs but if you ever find yourself with more herbs than you can possibly use, freezing is the best method to preserve the flavor of fresh herbs. Frozen herbs are great for use in soups, stews and some salad dressings.
There are 3 freezing methods I use to preserve my herbs:
Freeze with nothing added.
Wash and dry your herbs well. Chop or dice them finely and arrange them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Leave in the freezer over night and once frozen, put them in a Ziploc® bag and use them within 2-3 weeks. This method works well for most herbs.
Freeze in an ice cube tray covered with water.
The only herb that I found to work well with this freezing method is mint. Using an ice cube tray, place 2-3 whole leaves into the individual ice cube sections and cover with water. Once frozen, I like to add them to ice tea or a glass of water. My mom likes to add it to her hot teas. It cools off her tea quickly and adds a nice minty flavor.
Freeze in an ice cube tray covered with oil.
Rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, and parsley work really well here. Remove the herbs from the stalks, chop/mince and place them in an ice cube tray. Top individual sections with oil and freeze. Use within a month.
There is one herb that I don’t think freezes well and that is basil. I find that the best way to preserve the flavor and the color of this herb is by making pesto. Pesto on the other hand can be frozen without problems. To be honest, I incorporate pesto into so many dishes that I have barely any left to freeze. I use it in salad dressing, soups, and stews. I add it to pasta and rice dishes. Just add a teaspoon or two and taste the difference.
P.S. I absolutely love this stainless steel ice cube tray. They have an easy release handle and you don’t have to worry about plastic leaking into your food. When our babies started eating pureed food, I would freeze soups and roasted pureed fruit in these trays. These trays cost a little more than others but are worth it! 🙂
Here is my quick and easy Pesto Recipe.
I hope this post inspires you to go to your local farmers market and buy some herbs.