I am all about preserving what we have (Read: avoiding waste!). Whenever I purchase fresh herbs for a recipe, or at this time of year when the herbs I grow over the summer are bountiful but facing frosty evenings, I do all I can to save their fresh flavours for future use. One of the best ways I’ve found to quickly and easily save these summer-fresh herbs is by using the freezer. Ice cube trays are ideal, but any small food containers you have on hand would work.
The first thing is to harvest, rinse, dry, and chop your herbs. With rougher herbs like rosemary, the finer you can chop them, the better, so this is the time to show off your ‘knife skills’. Once your fresh herbs are chopped or minced, heap a tablespoon in each ice-cube-tray compartment, and top with a small amount of olive oil, vegetable broth (or stock of your choice), or even water. Use only enough to barely cover the chopped herbs.
Ensure the trays lay flat in your freezer so the cubes will freeze level, and get freezing! After the cubes have frozen overnight (or at least 4 hours) pop the cubes out to store loosely in zipper freezer bags that are labeled with the herb and liquid, as well as the date, and store in the freezer for no more than half a year. I find that these little tidbits of fresh herb flavour are so tasty that we go through them steadily. Be sure to keep them in a handy area of the freezer so that you remember to use them. They add so much depth of flavor to recipes! Plus, you are utilizing your harvest and not wasting these precious edible plants!