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Today’s post is from StyleBlueprint Atlanta editor Katherine Snell.

After a wonderful summer of using fresh herbs in every dish, I know I won’t be able to bring myself to buy the sad, pre-packaged herbs at the grocery store in the middle of December.

Basil in December would never taste as fresh and delicious as the basil that was planted right outside my backdoor.

So I began searching around the Internet to find the best way to preserve some of that wonderful herb flavor. It seems the best method for optimum flavor and texture is to chop your herbs, add a little olive oil or butter, and freeze in ice cube trays. Pretty simple!

Herbs that preserve well using this method:
Thyme
Oregano
Rosemary
Basil
Sage
Lavender

Parsley and mint don’t do well using this method because it leaves them a soggy mess. Ick!

A few herbs snipped for the experiment.

If you decide to tackle this project right before the first frost, go ahead and remove the stems from your herb garden and then remove the leaves for chopping and preserving. If you want your plants to continue to grow, just remove the leaves.

Tools needed: food processor, knife, ice cube trays, olive oil and butter

I played around with a few different variations, but these two ways were my favorite:

  • Chop the leaves to a medium dice, add the chopped leaves to the ice cube tray, and pour olive oil directly on top. Works well with rosemary and thyme.
  • Chopping the leaves in the food processor, add olive oil or butter while it is processing. Then add to ice cube trays. Works well with rosemary, sage, oregano, and basil.

I just knew I would forget which herb was which, so I made myself a cheat sheet.

After a couple of hours in the freezer, I popped the frozen cubes from the trays and put them in labeled Ziplock bags. It will be easy to toss these into soups and pasta dishes, or even put a few cubes in a skillet before sauteing onions, potatoes, or other vegetables!

Separated into labeled freezer bags, preserved summer herbs are ready to use all winter long.

I will probably do this a couple of more times before our first cold freeze so that I will have a nice collection to last us all winter long!

 

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