Freezing Fresh Herbs

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On this dreary day in Chicago, I find myself longing for the warm weather of summer, while my mind dreams up dishes made with herbs fresh from the garden.  Unfortunately, we are just at the beginning of another Chicago winter, which not only means the end of outdoor gardening, but also, a bunch of leftover herbs that you can’t possibly begin to use before they all go bad.  But, fear not, you can enjoy the delicious taste of fresh herbs, all winter long by freezing them.  It’s a super easy process that takes minutes and will allow you to enjoy the taste of fresh herbs in your soups, stews, sauces and more during the cold months.

Savor the season all year long, by freezing fresh herbs, like the basil used in these Caprese Salad Skewers to use in soups, stews, sauces and more all winter long!

Savor the season all year long, by freezing fresh herbs, like the basil used in these Caprese Salad Skewers to use in soups, stews, sauces and more all winter long!

Follow these simple steps:

1. Rinse the herbs gently under cool, running water.

2. Remove any tough stems, discard and finely chop the herbs.

3. Fill the wells of a ice cube tray about 2/3 full with the chopped herbs.

4. For soft herbs such as: mint, cilantro, parsley and dill, gently cover the herbs with water.

5. For hard herbs such as: basil (not really hard, but takes better to this method for some reason), rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano, gently cover the herbs with extra virgin olive oil

6. Place trays in freezer for 24 hours.

7. Remove herb cubes and place into freezer bags and label.  Freeze until needed.

8. Drop herb cubes into soups or sauces as needed.

9. For the herbs frozen in oil, once the oil melts, it can serve as your initial sautéing liquid

Fresh thyme, like I used in this Roasted Salmon recipe, can be frozen and used all winter long in soups, sauces, stews and more!

Fresh thyme, like I used in this Roasted Salmon recipe, can be frozen and used all winter long in soups, sauces, stews and more!

 

Hard herbs, like rosemary, work best when frozen in extra virgin olive oil.

Hard herbs, like rosemary, work best when frozen in extra virgin olive oil.

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