What do to with all those fresh herbs?
The end of summer brings with it a huge batch of fresh herbs! Although we try to avoid wasting such wonderful produce, it’s often impossible to eat them all while they are fresh. We have some advice to help maximize your fresh herbs harvest.
Here is a really great idea for using up a large quantity of fresh herbs and for stocking up for winter. A classic pesto requires about 4 cups of basil. To this you add: a ¼ cup of olive oil and parmesan cheese, a clove of garlic, a little lemon juice, and grilled pine nuts. If you make a big quantity and want to freeze it, it is best to put a layer of olive oil on the surface because basil has a tendency to blacken when it comes into contact with air.
You can also get creative and make pesto with other types of herbs; like parsley, cilantro or even oregano. You could also mix more than one herb together.
You can give making dried herbs a try. You’ll need these three essentials: warmth, ventilation and shade. The simplest way and the most commonly used is the air dry method. You just have to tie together a few small bouquets of fresh herbs by their stems. Then hang them, upside down, in a shady spot which is well ventilated. Then wait until they are completely dry to chop them and put them into airtight jars and store them in a dark place.
You should know that many fresh herbs freeze easily and even manage to preserve their flavour. However, if you freeze them, you must realize that they will lose their texture and in certain cases, their colour. Which means that you will have to use them in dishes where they will be “camouflaged”? The herbs will need to be washed, and then chopped. Then place them in freezer bags, without compacting them, or in plastic containers and they’re ready!
What do you do with your fresh herbs at harvest time?