Fresh herbs are always good to have at hand. Some dishes require bigger amounts, while others benefit from just a hint of herbal flavour. If you happen to end up not using up all your fresh herbs, the freezer is a good way to preserve and save them for another occasion.
But how should you freeze them to make sure that are always easily available when you need them? The answer: olive oil. And the only thing you need is an ice cube tray, your favourite herbs and a quality olive oil!
Fresh herbs for any occasion
Depending on your preferences, you can use either one or several herbs – kind of like a bouquet garni. Freeze them as tiny ice cubes covered in olive oil, and you will notice how the aroma of the herbs infuses the oil with a lovely taste.
In this way, you will always have fresh herbs at hand for the winter stews, soups and roasts. The trick works wonders for stews in particular, as those are typically started off by heating up oil. Add one of your homemade herb cubes and you are off on a delicious note already.
As a bonus when freezing your herbs, you also minimise the risk of the herbs taking damage and turning brown in the freezer.
How to do it
Start out by chopping up your herbs. Put them in the ice cube tray until they are 2/3 full, and cover with olive oil (fx extra virgin olive oil). Freeze them overnight. The next day, you can sort the herb cubes in freezing bags or a plastic box. A nice tip is to label the container with the contents so you can always tell which herbs are used – in case you decide to try other variants!
Freeze only hard herbs
However, it is not all herbs that are made for a life in the freezer. Softer herbs that are popularly used as garnish, such as dill, mint and basil, are more sensitive to cold. That means that they could risk changing or losing some of their taste when being frozen.
On the other hand, the trick works just perfect with hard herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme – herbs that are typically added to the dish earlier on.
So try it out at home and make the most of your fresh herbs!