Store bought herbs are increasing in price. Do you grow herbs or buy the pots from the supermarket? If you grow them the more you pick them, the more they grow. I used to enjoy picking them and throwing them in meals over summer, but rarely preserved them, which is a waste. If you plant the pots from the supermarket they will often continue growing. I never grow basil from seed but plant a supermarket plant every year. Here are some ways to preserve your herbs so that you can save money, but also enjoy them over winter. This is just a quick run down as it would be a very long post to explain how to preserve them properly, but the internet will give you more of an idea.
- Dry them. You don’t need a dehydrator. I have dried herbs on the back shelf of my car or a sunny window sill before, you just need some where warm but out of direct sunlight. I place them on kitchen paper. They should take a couple of days and be dry and crisp to touch. I then grind them with a pestle and mortar and store in glass jars in a cupboard. I mainly dry mixed herbs to use in winter.
- You can freeze them. I usually pick the leaves off and put them in an ice cube tray and cover in water or oil and freeze. You can then store them in a bag when frozen and then use them from frozen. If they are large herbs you can freeze whole after being quickly blanched.
- You can blitz them and mix them with butter. I roll them in a cigar shape, put them in the fridge, and then slice when cold and freeze in a bag.
- You can make herb vinegar by putting the herbs in a bottle and then covering with white wine vinegar.
- You can do the same as above and cover with olive oil but I only make small batches and keep for 3 weeks in the fridge as there is a chance of botulism if stored longer.
- You can put in a bottle and cover with vodka.
- You can make a pesto from them. There are lots of recipes on the Internet. You can then store in a jar in the fridge for a few weeks or freeze.
- You can make herbed salt by taking 2 cups of salt, adding your herbs like rosemary, thyme or sage to 2 tbsps of it and blitzing. It will have a sand texture. You spread it out on a tray and then sprinkle the rest of the salt on top and then dry in a sunny place for a couple of days before storing in an airtight container.
- You can make herbal sugar as above.
- You can make herbal honey by infusing herbs in the honey for a couple of months.
How do you store your herbs?