Preserving Herbs for Use in Recipes
Our public library has a chef's series, and I went to it yesterday. I have always wondered how to keep my bountiful basil, rosemary, chives, parsley, thyme, etc fresh without having to dry them.
The chef said you can mix them all or do them one by one, but carefully separate the leaves from the stems (no stems)and for basil do a chiffonade, but the rest you can chop. Once you get them all chopped, put them in any amounts per herb you desire into a plastic see through container (like the ones deli parmesan cheese comes in), cover them with safflower oil. It must be safflower oil because it stays oily in the freezer and does not congeal like olive, coconut oil etc.
Put enough oil to just cover the herbs, and they will last weeks in the fridge, and a very long time in the freezer. He says a little gray may develop on top (it's not mold), but just spoon that off, and you will be good to go!! Fresh herbs for any recipe all the time!! This method allows us to harvest our herbs and get the most out of them before they go to seed, etc.
The chef said that if you are mixing your herbs, don't put dill or tarragon in the mix. They are too strong and will influence the flavor of the whole mix. He suggested to do them separately.
I asked him if you could also use a zip lock. He poo poo'd that idea thinking that the zipper might not zip, but I know better! I'll probably use my favorite zip lock bags for this!
I hope this helps you stretch your herb harvest. It will certainly speed up cooking time. No more chopping! All done ahead, fresh and yummy!!