Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Freezing herbs



Don't look too closely. It is very blurry.

This lack of water here at the house has put a serious dent in my plans for Greater Grape Domination. I've been canning and freezing still, somewhat miraculously, but somehow I don't have the heart to do anything grape-related over the next few days. (Maybe it's the fact that I have to boil water to wash, then rinse, the dishes. Maybe.)

BUT! Enough about me. I did manage to put away about a garbage bag full of basil into the freezer last night. This method works with most fleshy herbs, like parsley or cilantro, though basil is a great candidate as its flavor is so fickle and easily lost with cooking. (The other herb that freezes well this way is sorrel, but I know that is something not everyone has growing in their Back 40.) I lightly rinse then remove the leaves from basil that has not flowered, tearing them into small pieces. I put them into my grandmother's Cuisinart food processor (circa 1975 and still whirring away) with a tiny bit of water. I pulse to a mince (no further) then I scoop them into ice cube trays. Once they're frozen, I put them in a resealable freezer bag and keep them in the upstairs freezer for easy use. I will reheat one of those many jars of tomato sauce, and, at the end of the heating, I will pop in a cube, then toss the lot over some spaghetti for a quick winter meal.

Pretty easy-peasy.

My mom goes about 4 steps further by making actual pesto that she freezes in trays, then wraps the cubes individually in foil. This obviously works, too, but my husband isn't too hep on cheese and nuts, so I just stick to the simple stuff.

This is yet another entry into the Eat Local Challenge for preserving the harvest.

5 comments:

frugalmom said...

I do the making pesto and freezing it, too. It works really well and tastes great.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I just started harvesting my basil today. It must be in the air!

I am in love with the eat locally challenge. Glad for the resource.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

farm mom said...

This is how I preserve my basil too, since I can't find a recipe for pesto that doesn't require a nut of some sort, and haven't quite figured out what could be a good replacement for them.

jules said...

Thanks El. I'm going to get out this weekend and freeze some of our herbs now. Seems easy enough. I have basil, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, thyme and chives. I'll start with the basil.
Thanks again. Easy-peasy!

Annie in Austin said...

I've made and frozen pesto before but not done the ice cube trick - I like this idea, El - thank you!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose