How to Preserve Summer Herbs

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DRYING: Trim healthy branches from plant. For best results, trim in the morning, when leaves are dry but well hydrated. Strip the bottoms of branches and tie into bunches.
Hang upside-down in a cool spot out of sun for one to two weeks or until well dried. Pick the leaves from the branches, discarding any damp or moldy leaves. Store in zip-top bags or small jars. Herbs are best stored out of direct sunlight. To substitute dried herbs for fresh in a recipe, use about 1 teaspoon dried for 1 tablespoon fresh.
FREEZING: To freeze loose leaves, strip leaves from stems and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to zip-top plastic bags or small jars.
Another method for delicate herbs, such as basil, parsley and tarragon, is to pack leaves into an ice cube tray, filling cups half full. Cover with water and freeze. Once frozen, add a little more water to cover any leaves that floated to the top, and re-freeze. Remove cubes from the tray and store in zip-top plastic bags.
To use cubes, either thaw and measure or add to soup or sauce. Frozen herbs can be substituted in equal proportions to fresh in recipes. Note: most frozen herbs will discolor and turn dark.
PESTO: Herb pesto freezes very well! Prepare your favorite recipe, then freeze in zip-top bags or ice cube trays.

Recipe from Central Market Mill Creek - Culinary Resource Center
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