If you planted any herbs this season, they’re not going to last much longer as the days get shorter and the nights longer and colder. To get the most out of what’s left, you’ll want to store them so you can enjoy them all winter long.
The traditional method is to dry them out. This, however, can be a time-consuming project (although a food dehydrator can speed things along quite a bit). Instead, why not try freezing them?
There are essentially two methods. One is to store them in freezer bags. The other is to make herbal ice cubes, which are perfect for soups, sauces, stews and stir-fries. No matter which method you choose, first, rinse them thoroughly in cold water, ensuring that all traces of dirt and bugs are gone — you probably don’t want aphids in your anise or slugs in your sage.
Next, pat them dry with a towel. If you’re going to bag them, you can now line them up on a tray first and pre-freeze, making them easier to chop. Cut off any long stems before chopping up the leaves and smaller stems. After you’ve bagged them, ensure all the air is out of the bag before it’s sealed. Toss the bags in the freezer, and viola! You’re done.
To make ice cubes, you’ll want to chop the herbs into smaller pieces than if you’re bagging them. Pack the pieces into ice cube trays, packing them in well and almost filling them.
Now carefully fill the trays the rest of the way with water.
Let them freeze overnight, then pop them into bags or some other sealable container before putting them back in the freezer. Now you can have that fresh-from-the garden flavor in the middle of January.