I absolutely love my herb spiral, especially in the summer when it’s full of delicious fresh culinary herbs to cook with. Having used dried herbs in my cooking for most of my adult life there is truly no comparison to using fresh herbs in a recipe. However once the summer starts to wind down and our plants are dying back we’re back to using dried herbs again.
Preserving your herbs in olive oil is the perfect way to keep them tasting fresh and flavourful. There is no need to thaw them at all. I simply take out an ice cube or two and toss them in soups or in the pan with whatever I’m cooking.
The herbs I’m preserving today are rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram and sage. I will likely do this one more time when we’re nearing the end of the summer so I have lots of fresh herbs on hand for cooking during those long winter months.
We’ve harvested 60 cloves of garlic and as long as we keep them in a cool, dry and dark place they will stay fresh for up to five months. Right around the four month mark I will crush what’s remaining and preserve those in olive oil as well.
Before I had a culinary herb garden I would often buy fresh herbs from the grocery store. More than once I’ve forgotten about them or simply didn’t have a recipe that needed them and by day four your hard earned money is limp and dying. So even if you don’t have a herb garden, this method will work great for store bought fresh herbs as well. Just make sure you pick the best quality ones to buy.
What You’ll Need
- Fresh herbs of good quality
- Good quality olive oil
- Ice cube trays
- Freezer bags or a container of some kind
The process for this is quite simple thankfully! The only herb I actually had to chop was the sage. Oregano, rosemary and thyme you can simply strip the leaves off the stems. Once you have your herbs prepared fill the ice cube trays about 3/4 full of herbs. Once you have all the cubes filled cover all the herbs with olive oil and fill the cube (but don’t over fill as it can make it difficult to pop them out of the tray). Place in the freezer and once fully frozen transfer to a labeled ziploc bag.
That’s it! For under an hours worth of work I have 4 full ice cube trays of fresh preserved herbs. Not only does this method provide you with fresh herbs for cooking with year round, it’s also an amazing time saver! This is especially true of the crushed garlic as nothing is more simple then popping an olive oil garden infused cube in a pot of soup.