I know I talk about my CSA nonstop during the summer, but hey, I love fresh produce! I often get a lot of herbs every week, and sometimes I just can't use them up before they go bad. Is it the same for you? If so, freezing will be your best friend! I freeze my herbs almost every week, and then use them throughout the following months. It's best to preserve less woody herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, mint, etc. through freezing rather than drying. The more woody herbs, although can be frozen, are sometimes best dried.
Some people like to freeze their herbs in little ice cube trays, but I think it's a pain. First of all, I don't have any ice cube trays because thankfully I have an automatic ice cube maker. Secondly, I find that freezing your herbs in water in a tray limits your uses for the herb. Yes, you can throw an herby ice cube into a soup, but that's about it. If you freeze using my method, you can just cut off frozen bits to use in cooking, but also in salads and other uncooked foods. (This works great with dill in potato salads.)
So, let's get to it! First you need to wash your herbs gently in cold water and leave them to dry on a paper towel. Once they're dry, chop them roughly and put them into a freezer bag. (I prefer Ziploc's Vacuum bags.)
Make sure to label your herbs! After a few weeks in the freezer, the cilantro and parsley will look suspiciously alike. Remove as much air as possible and freeze. Whenever you need some, break off a chunk and add it to your recipe. Some herbs' flavors will last longer than others, so storage time will vary. I've found that cilantro only lasts a few months, but dill can last up to a year.
That's all there is to it! How do you like to preserve your herbs?
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