Sunday, 18 July 2010

Freezing Herbs

The Basil has been trying to go to seed. I've been picking off the flower buds but the plants seem determined to go to seed. It's too early in the season to lose the Basil plants, so today I took a large mixing bowl out and vigourously pruned the poor Basil plants. I nipped the plants back to about half their size and ended up filling most of the bowl with lovely, sweet smelling Basil leaves.
After rinsing the leaves, checking for bugs and stray bits of plant which didn't belong, I chucked all the leaves into the food processor. I added 2 or 3 scant tablespoons of olive oil and pulsed until the leaves were roughly chopped.
I stuck the whole mass into ice cube trays. Of course, I couldn't figure out where the real ice cube trays were packed so had to use the only one I could find, which was this bar cube mould. I've never gotten this mould to make proper ice cubes, so it was a tad of a gamble. I stuck the Basil filled mould in the freezer. Reminder to self, maybe think about unpacking the rest of the kitchen stuff! A few hours later, I took it out and lo and behold, the little Basil sticks popped right out easily. They went into a labelled freezer bag, so that I can just use a piece in whatever I might need basil during the winter.
Alternately, you are also supposed to be able to chop the herbs finely, pack ice cube trays with the fresh herbs and cover with water before freezing. If I get another Basil harvest this summer, I'll try this method for comparison to see which I prefer. Apparently these methods are good for freezing Parsley, Cilantro and Mint as well. I dry my Sage, Oregano, Savoury and Thyme, though it doesn't look like there will be much Oregano to dry this year unfortunately.


Leigh said...

I hadn't thought about freezing herbs. Looks quite simple. The thing I have to figure out is whether or not I'd be able to find them again once they disappeared into in the freezer!

Jody said...

Looks delicious...I luv fresh pesto on pizza:-)
The darn oregano was the only herb that grew in my garden....of course it's my fault because I forgot it will take over the entire garden.

Sharon said...

I did that yesterday, harvested my basil, but made pesto to freeze. It's the only way I use basil anyway. I bought two more bunches at the farmers market today and should get three more batches which I then enjoy all winter long. My recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic, but I use 8!

Woolly Bits said...

I have plenty of oregano - but have to be careful with the basil, which doesn't grow so well here - even in the glasshouse:(( pity, why do herbs grow best that you barely need?:)) I could open a shop with mugwort, lovage etc..... I didn't think that olive oil can be frozen successfully though. I just put fresh dried herb leaves into freezer bag, put them in the freezer, and crush them finely once they're hard. saves on all the chopping:))