3 Tricks to Save Herbs For When They´re Not in Season

3 Tricks to Save Herbs For When They´re Not in Season

Learn how to store and lengthen the life of fresh herbs so you can always have them available.


Many Latin American dishes are best served with fresh herbs because of the flavor they add to meats, poultry, fish and vegetables. They also add the perfect touch before setting the meal on the table. Any food served with a sprig of parsley or cilantro looks very elegant.

Growing your own herbs in flowerpots is a great way to save a little time and money, but they don’t often survive the cold autumn air and the coming of winter.

So instead of spending a fortune at the supermarket for those herbs you usually grow at home, here are some options for year-round storage.

1. Dried. In order for them to last longer in the refrigerator, the trick is for the herbs to be really dry, meaning they contain no moisture when stored. This tip is for the most commonly used herbs like parsley and cilantro, which are precisely the ones that get damaged faster, but it also works for tarragon, sage, and mint.

Instructions

  1. Rinse the herbs in cold water and then pat dry with a paper towel or use a salad spinner. You want to get them as dry as possible, so if you need to, place them between paper towels and softly press them – changing the towel as necessary.
  2. Prepare a plastic container with a hermetic seal and put a folded paper towel on the bottom. Place the herbs there and put them in the refrigerator uncovered for a half hour. More moisture should evaporate, leaving the herbs completely dry.
  3. Cover the container and store it in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for several weeks.

2. With Olive Oil. Another way to keep herbs fresh for up to a year is to freeze them in olive oil.

Instructions

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  1. Wash the herbs and then dry them with a paper towel.
  2. Cut the leaves into small pieces and place them in bunches in an ice cube tray.
  3. Fill each section of the tray with some olive oil and put the try in the freezer.
  4. Once frozen, remove the cubes and place them into plastic bags, and put the bags back into the freezer. Then, when you’re ready to cook, you can just throw a cube right into the pot or pan.

This trick is excellent for parsley, cilantro, sage, tarragon, oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil.

3. Freezing in Pesto. A great way to take advantage of basil leaves is by making a salsa de pesto in a food processor.

Ingredients
4 cups of basil leaves, washed
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of peeled and chopped nuts
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the basil leaves, garlic, nuts and olive oil into a food processer and blend until the sauce is thick
  2. Add the Parmesan cheese. And salt as necessary
  3. Mix it well and freeze it in plastic containers with lids. When you need it, remove it from the freezer 3-4 hours ahead of time

This is an excellent way to take advantage of and to preserve basil and it is delicious on bread or with spaghetti. And the best part is you don't have to cook it.

What are your favorite herbs to cook with? Let us know in the comments below.


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