Harvesting a big bounty of herbs from your garden this year? We all know that fresh is best when it comes to cooking with aromatic herbs, but we wanted to share eight easy ways to preserve them in case you got too much!
Below you will find instructions on drying and preserving your own herbs for use during the colder months.
1. Freezing Whole & Chopped: Wash thoroughly and dry the herbs leaves, then store them in bags. Remove as much air as possible then put into your freezer. If you take your herbs out of the freezer seconds before use, you be able to crush them directly by pressing on the packet. Handy!
2. Dry Method: If you have the space and the time, you can tie small bunches of aromatic herbs together and hang them upside down in a dark, warm, and well ventilated room. Count about 2 to 4 week drying. You’ll get crispy leaves that crumble easily between your fingers. Then your herbs will be ready for packing to storage.
3. Leave your herbs outside: just in the plain bright sun on a hot afternoon. Make sure they are protected from the wind, so that the herbs won’t fly away. Simply bring them inside overnight if they are not dry at the end of the afternoon. Then put them back outside the next day.
4. Mixture: Certainly my favorite one. Gather up all of the herbs into your a food processor and mix until you obtain a lightly coarse mixture. Note that rosemary is quite difficult to mix, so make it apart from the other herbs.
5. Compound Butters: Chop herbs and mix them with butter. Freeze it in single patties with the appropriate size for cooking. Thaw before using. Check this post for more details.
6. Cool Air: Wash aromatic herbs then pat with a soft cloth. Layer a cookie sheet with paper towels and then arrange stems in a single layer. Place in the refrigerator and remove after few days, once they are totally dried. This doesn’t work well into crisper bins because air doesn’t circulate properly.
7. Preserve in salt or sugar: Layer fresh herb leaves between layers of salt or sugar and leave them until they are fully desiccated. Sift them out and keep in airtight boxes. Salt or sugar? It depends on the flavor of the herb and what you want to achieve!
Now with these tips, you’ll get a fragrant herb mixture, perfect for using all winter and fall long to season your stews, soups, sauces, meats and even desserts!