How to ... Freeze Herbs

Nothing tastes better in a dish than a handful of fresh herbs thrown in at the end of cooking. But there's nothing sadder than finding those expensive bought herbs lying limp in the fridge drawer a few days later, which then get thrown away and wasted.

Freeze Herbs in Ice-cube Tray
Caption: An ice-cube tray is ideal for freezing small quantities of herbs you tend to use sparingly or add to soups or casseroles.

Tips for Freezing

Freezing herbs is a great way to retain colour and flavour. It is particularly suitable for culinary herbs with very fine leaves or a very high moisture content, and for those that lose their taste when dried.

Good candidates for freezing include fennel and dill tips, tarragon, chives, parsley, chervil and basil.

For herbs you intend to use in small quantities or add to wet dishes, such as soups, casseroles and risotto, freezing herbs into ice cubes works perfectly. Rinse fresh herbs under cold running water before chopping them finely. Place a tablespoonful of the chopped herb into each segment of an ice-cube tray, add a little water, and then place the tray in the freezer. When the cubes are frozen, transfer them into a labelled plastic bag or container, and they’ll keep for months.

Freeze whole bunches of herbs to use in larger quantities or in recipes that won’t benefit from the extra water of the melted ice. After rinsing the herbs, pat them dry with a paper towel and tie them loosely together. Place the whole bunch inside a sealed and labelled plastic bag and store it in the freezer. The frozen herbs will become quite brittle, so before you use them, just scrunch the bag with your hand to break the leaves into pieces.

Freeze Herbs in Container
Caption: Another way to store summer herbs for winter use is to chop and freeze a large quantity in a small plastic container.
 

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