I have gobs of fresh basil and parsley still going strong in my herb garden. But the weather is cooling down, and it won’t be long before I have to pick all of it, or lose it to frost. What’s the best way to preserve herbs so that I can use them in winter?
Lucky you and your abundance of basil! My favorite way to preserve basil is in the form of pesto, which freezes very nicely in ice cub trays.
Alternatively, you can just freeze an herb (whole leaves or chopped in ice cube trays), either by itself or immersed in olive oil (I did that with rosemary and it is a great soup starter)! Once they are frozen, take the blocks out and store them in a bag or jar in the freezer.
I’d be remiss to mention that slow-drying is a viable option. Bundle your herbs and hang them in a dark, dry location with plenty of air flow until they’re fully dried (usually about two weeks). Then store them in jars. Personally, I think that dried herbs are kind of odd and flavorless compared to all the other great options available now that we have freezers. :)
Another option is to preserve your herbs in salt. This recipe for Fragrant Tuscan Herb Salt looks wonderful.
I’ve also infused olive oil with rosemary, which was great. You can do this with basically any fresh herb.
By the way, if you have lavender, you can preserve it in a jar of sugar. Make lemon sugar cookies with lavender-infused sugar and you’ll swoon!