I've already had my dehydrator out and humming for the last couple of days. My herbs are doing absolutely awesome this year, and since I had more space, I had planted more than usual and started some from seed earlier in the season. So, I'm able to harvest earlier this year and have more plants to harvest.
Last year, besides making pesto with my basil, I dried all of my herbs using my dehydrator.
And let me tell you how awesome it has been to simply go to my pantry and pull out herbs for use in my cooking over this past year.
This year, in addition to the dehydrating, I am also freezing some herbs.
Today I'm going to share how to freeze basil as well as oregano. Both are done the same way...
Pick your basil or oregano, preferably first thing in the morning, right after the dew has dried off the leaves.
Notes on picking: When I pick basil, I pick just the leaves. If you look closely at your basil plant, you will see that the leaves grow in pairs and further down the plant on each stem you will see that there will be new, tiny leaves growing. Pinch the leaves off right at that spot, making sure to keep the new leaves intact. When I harvest the oregano, I use my kitchen shears and cut off stems and then pull the leaves off after the herb is washed and dried.
Rinse off the herbs and dry well using either a salad spinner
(I highly recommend salad spinners; they work great at really drying herbs as well as lettuces and berries; I'm constantly using mine this time of year.) or paper towels. Pull the oregano leaves off of the stem.
Now, keep in mind, that I do this separately. I am not combining the basil and the oregano into the same product. (Although you could totally do that; basil and oregano are complimentary herbs.) The following steps are done individually with each herb:
1. Throw a couple of handfuls into your food processor. Add some olive oil (eyeball it - you don't want to saturate it, but you want it all to be shiny and covered.)
2. Pulse the herb and oil until the herbs are coarsely ground. Add more olive oil if necessary.
3. After the herb is the right consistency (you can make it as course or as fine as you like), you will now prepare to store it in the freezer.
*You can either scoop it out and store it in snack bags as I did for the basil (I did about 1/4 cup per
*Or you can scoop a teaspoon or so into an ice cube tray and freeze it. You may need to add a couple more drops of olive oil when doing it this way to help keep the oregano frozen together. Once completely frozen, pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer bag. This is the way I stored the oregano.
Either way you do it, freezing your herbs will be very convenient when it comes time to use it in your cooking. You simply grab either a bag or cube out of the freezer, put the frozen herbs into your pan with your food and it will melt and incorporate into the food.
And another important note to remember: With most herbs, the more you harvest, the more it will produce. This is especially true with basil. Once an herb flowers, it does not produce as much of its leaves which are the part we typically use for culinary purposes.
Have a blessed day!
Linking up here:
Teach-Me Tuesdays - Growing Home