Preserving Fresh Herbs

There is nothing like fresh herbs straight from the garden. While herbs are abundant and delicious in season, they do not grow year-round. A great way to make them available all year is by preserving your herbs. There are several ways this can be done. One of the most common ways is drying, but I find that this considerably reduces the flavor. My favorite way of preserving is freezing. I have done this with cilantro, basil, and parsley, and it certainly can be done with other herbs. Some websites recommend freezing the herbs in water or packing them in plastic bags directly in the freezer. Those methods work, but I find that it is best to freeze them in oil.

First pick off the leaves then thoroughly wash & dry them. Fill your food processor to the brim, and as the blade is running, pour in a slow stream of about 2 tablespoons of oil (you can use whatever oil you prefer). Process until it has formed a thick paste. If you prefer something thinner just add more oil. Then spoon the mixture into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. You can leave them in the trays and pop them out as you need them, or pop them all out and store them in a separate container. This makes it nice and convenient to use them in soups or sauces and the flavor is very well preserved! The pictures below show these steps while preserving cilantro. I use my frozen herbs in cooking all year long, I don’t know what I would do without them!