Hi! I have tons of herbs (Basil, Parsley, etc...) in my garden, but they won't last forever. What's the best way to save them for later in the year? Do i have to dry them or could I freeze them fresh then defrost later?
In my experience, fresh and rather delicate herbs like parsley and basil loose much of their flavour when dried. But they do freeze beautifully: either just wash and dry them very well and freeze whole, or chop them up (maybe mixed with a bit of olive oil) and freeze in ice cube trays for easy portioning.Or you could make thick sauces (pesto, chimichurri, salsa verde) and freeze those.Drying woody herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme, however, works great.
Oh and flavoured oils and vinegars are easy and delicious, as well – and make lovely little gifts!
I stuff as much of each herb as I can into ice cube trays. Top with olive oil. Freeze. Store in zip lock bags. When you need fresh herbs you have them, complete with a nice drizzle of olive oil!
I would dry them in the oven set on the lowest temp available and crack the door open
I just stick the tougher herbs like thyme and rosemary as is into zip lock bags. It works great. The leaves fall off the stems and gather at the bottom and the stems are there to use to flavor soups and stews and then discard.
The softer herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro, I buzz up in my cuisinart with a little oil or water and then flattened into a ziplock. It's easy to break off chunks when needed.
Extra herbs make great compound butters and freeze well.