Fresh frozen herbs. Oxymoron?!
While we were in Napa last week, my step-mom and I were talking as she made Thanksgiving dinner. She and my Dad have a few citrus trees and herbs growing in their backyard and, since it's California, they thrive year-round. As I came back in with a handful of fresh herbs for one of the recipes, I mentioned how I used to have a rosemary tree but it died and seeing their little garden made me miss having fresh herbs around. And then whenever I buy a fresh bunch from the grocery store, I end up using only a small bit while the remainder of the herbs wither away in the refrigerator. Maybe this is old news to you but my step-mom told me you can take the heartier herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano) and freeze them in olive oil in ice cube trays, taking them out and tossing them into a pan whenever your recipe calls for fresh herbs. So simple. So brilliant. Here's how you do it:
Fresh frozen herbs in olive oil:
- Bunch of fresh herbs
- Olive oil
- Ice cube trays
I put my herbs in last night and jumped the gun to take photos of them this morning. The rosemary in olive oil started to melt almost right away! So, lesson learned. Leave them in the freezer for more than just overnight.
I'm not sure this will work for herbs that are used fresh in a recipe (such as basil or cilantro) but you can make those herbs into pesto and then freeze them for later use. And no more rotting herbs in the produce drawer a.k.a. the rot box!
Do you have any tips for keeping herbs fresh? I recently heard a statistic on NPR that Americans throw away 40% of the food they buy, amounting to approximately $2,275 a year for a family of four. So wasteful. And so terrible!