I am thrilled to have my friend Stephanie Peterson on the blog today! She shares her love of veggie gardening with us in this awesome how-to post on saving your herbs to use them after the winter has arrived. I also highly recommend you check out Stephanie’s blog The Candid Pastor’s Wife with her inspired insights on faith, marriage, and family.
The saddest (garden) part of the winter onset is that first freeze: the moment when it’s final…those annuals will not produce anymore.
I particularly mourn the loss of my fresh herbs, like basil. They’re SO expensive at the store and the quality is just not that great.
The best remedy is to prep and freeze your annual herbs.
To prep basil, I first cut down all of the healthy branches. I give them a good rinse, dry, and then pick the leaves off.
You could freeze the leaves whole, but usually you’ll want to use your thawed basil cut, and it’s easier to do that now.
Do you know the secret to cutting basil? It’s so easy!
Lay several leaves on top of one another in a stack. Five to seven works for me.
Next, roll the stack lengthwise. Then simply take your knife and cut the roll in about quarter or half inch pieces. Result: beautifully cut basil!
In a standard ice cube tray, full each spot with basil shreds, then cover the basil with olive oil. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. For long term storage, pop the cubes out the next morning and put them in a freezer bag.
Each cube contains over a tablespoon of basil and about a tablespoon of olive oil, so for any recipe that uses basil, subtract any olive oil needed by that amount per cube.
If you just want to use a bunch of herbs up, make some herbed focaccia!
Bonus tip: to get rosemary of the stem, grab the top of the stem with one hand. With the other hand, pinch the stem and slide your fingers across the leaves. They’ll pull right off.
Happy herbing! (I made that up.)
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