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Freezing Herbs 

Notes:

Most herbs (except dill, chives, and basil) should be blanched for 50 seconds, and dipped in
cold water before freezing. Parsley, chives, basil can be pureed with a small amount of water
in a blender, then frozen in a tray.

Most sources agree that the flavor of tarragon, parsley, chives, and cilantro is best preserved
by freezing than drying.

Use ice cube trays to freeze. Once solidly frozen, the cubes can be popped out and
packaged in airtight freezer bags. Date the package and store no longer than 3-4 months.

See also Cooking with Herbs .

Most herbs (except dill, chives, and basil) can benefit from blanching for 50 seconds,dipped in
cold water before freezing. Parsley, chives, basil can be pureed with a small amount of water 
in a blender, then frozen in a tray.  Most sources agree that the flavor of tarragon, parsley,
chives, and cilantro is best preserved by freezing than drying.  Sorrel is a good candidate
 for freezing in water, because it is the first perennial herb to appear -- way before anything 
is planted in the garden.  

Planter has been freezing herbs without blanching and  a minimum of chopping or cutting in the
hope that essential oils will be stronger when thawed.  Since we are on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, we use olive oil:   one tablespoon herb and one tablespoon olive oil for each cube.

Recipes:
Spoon one heaping Tablespoon of herb into each cell of an ice cube tray, freeze, then remove from tray and store in freezer plastic bags.

Low fat: Drain herb after washing and chop fairly coarsely. Add about 1 T water to each cell.

Medium fat:  Substitute olive oil for water.  It is low in saturated fat, so it is more healthful than other liquid oils.  I use olive oil for basil, because most of my cooking with basil is Italian dishes.  For oriental cooking, use safflower or canola oil instead.

High fat: Dry thoroughly. Mix 8 Tablespoons shredded leaves with 1/4 pound softened butter.  Herb butters can be frozen for up to three months without damaging flavor. 

 

         Sources: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record--Herbs and Cooking, Diane Bildeback;
Univ. of Missouri-Columbia Extension Service (Mobot); Michigan State Univ.Extension
Service (MSU);Jean Anderson's Green Thumb Preserving Guide

Ideas for herbal butters:

Sweet marjoram with a little rosemary for chicken sandwiches or grilled chicken.
Dill for tuna sandwiches or grilled fish.
Tarragon for egg salad or fish.
Mint on peas.

     Sources: The Savory Way, Deborah Madison, Jean Anderson's Green Thumb Preserving Guide