Summer offers a bounty of wonderful fresh herbs, but when summer is over, how can you continue to enjoy that garden fresh flavor? Many of us purchase herbs from the market during the off season, use the few sprigs required for a recipe, and let the rest grow old in the fridge. Another option is buying frozen herbs (like the cubes from Trader Joe's) that you can drop into recipes, decreasing cooking time, but maintaining taste. Chef Nicole Straight has been using these frozen herbs for years, but recently decided she wanted to make her own processed herbs from her summer crop. Processing herbs is a simple 5 minute project, and it's a wonderful way to preserve the fresh taste of your summer garden (recipe below).
Freezing your own herbs takes the guess work out of seeking an organically grown product, and enables you to select herb varieties that may not be available at your local market.
Herbs that process beautifully include: garlic, ginger, basil, cilantro, and parsley.
Recipe for Freezing Fresh Herbs
In a food processor add garlic (or other fresh herb listed above) and a small drizzle of olive oil. Process until smooth; add a little more olive oil as needed. Once the herbs are processed, lay a sheet of Press 'n Seal Wrap out. Add spoonfuls of the herb about 2” apart all along the sheet. Next lay another sheet of Press 'n Seal over the herbs and seal off each spoonful so they are separated. Once the spoonfuls are sealed off, fold over, place in a Ziplock bag and freeze.
When you need to use an herb, simply remove from the bag, cut a sealed spoonful, open the Press 'n Seal and add to your recipe frozen. I like to make large quantities as they are so easy to make.