I love using my herbs in the summer but was really bad at wasting them and not preserving them for winter. Now I enjoy them all year which saves me money. Here are some ways I preserve herbs now.
- DRYING HERBS
This is so easy even if you don’t have a dehydrator. You can either collect them in bunches and tie with string and hang them in warm, ventilated place, or place them on a sunny window sill on kitchen paper. They should be crisp and crunchy as if they still contain moisture they will go mouldy.
- FREEZING HERBS. One way is to blanch them and then put them in cold water, pat dry and store in freezer bags, making sure there is no air. Alternatively you can chop them and put in ice cube trays and top with water or oil and freeze. When frozen transfer to bag. They can then be used to cook.
- PESTO. There are loads of recipes on the internet.
- HERB BUTTERS. Whiz the herbs in a food processor and mix with butter. Roll into a cigar shape, slice and freeze.
- HERB OIL. Recipes on the Internet but only make small batches to reduce the chance of getting botulism. You can use most oils but olive or coconut are the best.
- HERB VINEGARS. Put the herbs into a jar and pour over white wine vinegar leaving 1 cm gap at the top. Store in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks. Great as a salad dressing.
- HERBAL HONEY. Chop the herbs and place in honey and infuse for a couple of months.
- HERBED SALT. One cup of salt and two cups of herbs (eg thyme, rosemary or sage) and 3 cloves of garlic. Whiz garlic and 2 tbsp salt together, add herbs and Whiz again. Spread on baking parchment and sprinkle the rest of the salt on top evenly. Place in sunny window sill. When dry store in air tight container.
- HERBAL SUGAR. Made in the same way as salt but without the garlic.
- ALCOHOL INFUSED HERBS. Pour vodka, brandy or rum over herbs in a glass jar. Store in a dark place for a few weeks and strain. Use with a mixer.