Monday, October 3, 2011

Freeze Those Herbs

Freezing herbs is a great alternative to drying as it locks in the flavor over a longer period of time and can be done in a variety of ways.

Herbs like dill, rosemary, thyme and sage are best kept on the stalk, placed in a zip lock freezer bag with all the air pushed out. You then snip or break off the amount you need or toss the entire stalk in the pot.

An alternative is drying leaves overnight on the counter on a cookie sheet. Wash and dry the leaves then spread them out onto a cookie sheet, freezing them on the sheet the next day. This prevents the leaves from sticking together and you then can package them to be used straight from the freezer.



Using ice cube trays is another way to be ready to cook with your favorite herbs. Wash, chop, measure and freeze the herbs of   choice in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, the cubes can be put into a ziploc bag and you can scoop out the amount of basil or dill as you need.

Finally, making herb butters is a great way to have that special butter to cook your favorite meal. No going to the market and starting from scratch the day of the meal. Dill butter for your favorite fish, garlic and chives, tarragon or whatever is your favorite for meat, poultry, pasta, corn, or vegetables.

Recipe for herbed butter
 Stick of butter (softened unsalted)                                               1/4 C of herb of choice 
 1 tsp. Of lemon juice                                                                        fine sea salt to taste 

Cream the butter and herbs together with a fork. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Using a piece of plastic wrap, roll into a log and freeze. When ready to use, slice off the desired amount. Let warm a little before using.