Preserving Herbs

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The best herbs for preserving are ones that have robust flavor, such as oregano, mint, tarragon, marjoram, sage, basil, thyme and rosemary.

For best results, harvest the herbs before the heat of the day to reduce stress on the plant.  Look for stalks that haven’t bloomed, and snip just above a leaf. 

To dry and preserve herbs, tie together and hand bunches upside down in a cool, preferably dark, place until the leaves crumble easily.  Keep bunches small – 5-7 stems.  Individual leaves of large-leaf plants can be dried between paper towels.

To freeze herbs, chop them in a food processor adding enough oil to form a paste, then freeze in ice cube trays.  To prevent basil from turning black while frozen, dip in boiling water for 20 seconds.  Once frozen, remove the cubes from trays and wrap individually in plastic and overwrap with foil, if needed.

In general:  1 tsp of crushed dried herbs = 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh herbs

Exception basil – about 2 tsp of dried basil = 1 tbsp of fresh basil.

Taken from BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS, *August 2006