Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while and, since I have just gotten back from a week (of eating bagels) in New York and I had to do some herb drying before I left so they didn’t go off, this seems like a good time.
Fresh herbs are one of the most commonly thrown-away foods. I know how it goes because I used to do this all the time: you buy fresh herbs for a recipe but don’t need nearly as much as you get, so the rest sits in your fridge forgotten about until you gotta throw them away. Or, your oregano plant is on growth hormones or something and won’t stop growing, and you have more than you could possibly use before the winter ( <- me currently.)
But wait! All is not lost! Herbs are so easy to preserve and there are tons of ways to do it depending on your needs. Here are my two go-to methods:
1. Dry them. So fricking easy. How do you dry herbs? Um… You hang them upside down. That’s it. Then when they’re dry pick off the leaves whole (like for Rosemary) or grind the leaves with a mortar and pestle (like for oregano or basil) and store in small jars or whatever. This is great because dried herbs are expensive if you want any sort of quality… And because things like mint or sage etc. can used to make tea as well. Money saving swag.
2. Freeze them. You can blanch and freeze herbs but I prefer another way I learned from my old boss, who is crafty and awesome. Finely chop up the fresh herbs like you would if you were going to use them for cooking. Then measure out one tablespoon servings and put each one in an ice cube tray. Fill up with water and freeze. When they are frozen, pop the cubes out and store in freezer bags in your freezer. Then when you need fresh herbs for cooking, you have ice cubes with a tablespoon of the herb in it, and you can just throw the cube in! (The amount of water won’t matter to the recipe). This is really good for herbs like parsley, oregano, and thyme that go in a lot of soups and sauces.