Herb gardens seem like a good idea, until you have an explosion of herbs and you do not cook enough to use them all. Last year I tried planting from seed, and having zero plant parenting skills, they weren’t very prosperous. This year I decided to pick up some already sprouted plants from the local farmer’s market. It was barely a month later and I had more herbs than I knew what to do with – and I’m a professionally trained chef.
Here’s just some of the first round haul:
So I got to work on preparing the herbs to preserve them, so they wouldn’t end up in the trash. Here’s some of the ways I preserved them:
- Frozen Marinade Cubes:
Chop herbs finely (I chose a blend of sage, rosemary, parsley, and oregano) and fill a silicon ice cube tray. Top off the cubes with oil of choice (I chose avocado oil). Once you pour in the oil, it will settle after a few minutes, allowing you to fill with more oil. Pop them in the freezer, and take one or two out anytime you need to marinade some meat or finish a dish with “fresh” herbs!
2. Infused Herb Oil
This is the simplest method of herb preservation. Simply put sprigs of herbs into a jar full of oil (I used olive oil). It can be stored at room temperature and used for up to 6 months. For best flavor results, wait a month before using. This infused oil can be used for marinades, vinaigrette, etc. Basically anything you’d use any oil for, but with extra flavor! To make it even more flavorful, blend herbs and oil in a blender. Heat a pan on high on a stove and pour the blended oil in (carefully). This will “blanch” the herbs and make it a super bright green. Once the oil and herb sediment starts to separate, pass through a very fine strainer or drain through cheesecloth overnight. Store as you would any other oil.
3. Pesto Cubes
Just like the marinade cubes, throw together a batch of pesto and freeze in an ice cube tray. Pop out and use as a sauce as needed! I used almonds instead of pine nuts in mine, and I highly recommend it.
There are tons more ways to preserve herbs, these are just a few of my recent favorites! Do you have any favorite ways to preserve your fresh herbs? Tell me in the comments below!