How to store aromatic herbs?

How to store aromatic herbs?

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After a summer full of flavors, the first frosts of autumn will soon threaten your patch of aromatic herbs. It's time to harvest as many leaves as possible and store them for use all year round in the kitchen. Our 4 tips for preserving herbs before winter!

1. I dry the aromatic herbs

Some herbs give off even more flavor when dried. This is for example the case of thyme, rosemary, bay leaf or oregano. Once the herbs are harvested, washed and dried in absorbent paper, you have the choice between two drying techniques. The first is to place the herbs on a dryer, cotton cloth or ventilated surface so that air can circulate. The second technique is to make small bouquets and hang them upside down in the kitchen. If you have many bouquets, you can even take the opportunity to stage them on a wire, a coat rack or a hoop to create a plant mobile. A dozen days later, your herbs are dry, just put them in a tightly closed jar to keep them all year round! Pro tip: using a dehydrator can also dry the herbs in just a few hours!

Dried herbs can be stored in jars for a long time…

2. I freeze the fresh herbs

On the other hand, certain herbs do not lend themselves to drying, and lose all their flavors once dehydrated. This is for example the case of parsley, basil, chives, coriander and all very "green" herbs. The best way to store them is therefore to freeze them. Once harvested, quickly pass them under clear water, then cut them into small pieces with scissors or with a small kitchen knife. Then prepare portions by placing them in an ice cube tray. Once the tank is full, add mineral water and leave it in the freezer for a few hours. Once the ice cubes have set, unmold them and place them in a freezer bag. Depending on your needs, you can take one or more ice cubes from your bag and pass them under tap water in a fine colander to thaw them ...

Easy to use frozen herbs!

3. I prepare ready-made ice cubes

Even more sophisticated, oil cubes are gaining popularity among budding cooks. The principle is the same, but the water is replaced by olive or sunflower oil. We can even add a little garlic, a touch of turmeric, a little black pepper, a few small pieces of shallot or red onion ... In the middle of winter, you just have to throw a of these ice cubes in the pan or in the sauce to add two spoons to the pot!

Herbs, oil, spices, and presto, freeze!

4. I make my own flavored oil

Your potted basil will soon give up the ghost? How about turning it into flavored oil? Like thyme and tarragon, basil is ideal for this type of use. Each grandmother has her secret recipe, but the simplest one is to let macerate fresh leaves of good quality, washed and dried, in a bottle of olive oil or sunflower oil for a month. Once the oil has been flavored, it is filtered and passed into another bottle perfectly sterilized with boiling water. The oil is then consumed for a whole year.

Thyme oil and its delicate summer flavor