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can you freeze fresh herbs?


fierydrunk
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we're constintly throwing away fresh thyme, basil, sage, etc. most of our grocer's don't sell them bulk in produce so we're forced to buy the packaged herbs. can we freeze them? or do they lose their special powers in the freezer?

thanks

Edited by fierydrunk (log)
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we're constintly throwing away fresh thyme, basil, sage, etc.  most of our grocer's don't sell them bulk in produce so we're forced to buy the packaged herbs.  can we freeze them?  or do they lose their special powers in the freezer?

thanks

I don't remember where I read it (it may have been an egullet posting) but the trick is to freeze them in ice. I've recently tried this with cilantro and it worked great when adding the herb to soup. I haven't tried it where fresh cilantro is called for. I should mention they'd only been frozen for a couple of weeks, but the flavor remained strong. I didn't portion them in ice cube trays (as I probably should have) but rather in a plastic container which meant I had to chip out a chunk for the soup.

Bode

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I puree basil, add a few drops of lemon juice and then add olive oil or butter and freeze it in the smallest Ziplock containers - the ones about the size of a babyfood jar. They thaw very quickly, are great for pasta, soup, garlic bread etc.

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Depends on the herb. For dill, I will either throw it in the freezer wrapped well, or chop it up and put it in a freezer bag. Other herbs like basil, I would chop finely and add some olive oil to it before freezing. I would think that the same thing would make sense for other delicate herbs. I usually only keep cilantro stocks and then it's only for Thai curries, so I just throw it right in the freezer in a bag.

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Interesting about rosemary. I just let my plant sit in the ground all winter (we got to 20 F below). Periodically, I needed rosemary, and wondered what it would be like. Freeze dried rosemary is just wonderful. As it thawed, the fragrance and oils just seems to pop back to life.

The days are lenghtening, and warming, and the sun is regaining the push that we associate with spring and the coming summer season. It won't be long before I'm out there, peering at the base of my rosemary plant, looking like a fool to my neighbors, seeking a glimpse of the coming season.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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What about rosemary? we have a ton of it sitting in our fridge right now.

I keep rosemary in a pot all year long. Out in the yard for 6 months, in the back room for six months.

Bode

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Generally, fresh herbs are used for their bright, fresh flavors and colors. Freezing almost always destroys both of these. However, if you us heartier herbs as an undercurrent in a dish, rosemary or thyme in a stew for instance, freezing doesn't change much. I've been keeping the more delicate herbs stem down in a jar of water in the fridge, and they keep for quite a while. You might try vaccuum packing and then freezing, but you can still end up with herb-water-in-a-bag.

I did try freezing minced chives in a bag. When I thawed them out and used them to garnish they were totally fine.

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

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I know this goes against almost every culinry rule, but about 6 months ago, I whirred some basil, parsely and garlic in a blender with some EVOO, S & P and put it in a little jar in my fridge. Last night I was making roast chicken and finally found the jar and I swear, there was no degradation in flavour or colour.

PS: I am a guy.

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