Saturday, September 17, 2016

Quick tip on fresh flavor herb preservation and herbal butters

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Some herbs loose flavor when they are blanched and frozen or dried (basil and chives are examples).  Another option to keep the flavor fresh is to preserve them in oil.  Use the type of oil you like to cook with that you typically use with the herb in the recipe.  

Frozen herb in oil
Take a couple of cups of herb with a 1/3 cup of oil and chop in a food processor.  Then put in a freezer bag, lay flat and freeze.  When you want to add to your recipe, just take a piece off and use as you would fresh.  You could also place in canning jars if you prefer.  Just use a warm spoon to scoop out what you need.

One thing to keep in mind is that you want to add your herbs at the very end of cooking to keep the flavor in the dish.  

You can also preserve your herbs in butter.  Same concept as in oil.  Soften the butter and process with your herb(s) of choice.  With butter, you will typically start with more than with oil, say a 1/2 cup with 2 cups of herbs.  

Frozen herbs are best within 6 months.

If you are making an herbal butter to serve, you would want more like 2 tablespoons of herbs to 1/2 cup of butter.  Add the herb that complements the dish you are serving.  

You can either serve in a dish, roll it into a log using plastic wrap, or form into a shape.  If you use a form, simply press the butter firmly into the form, then place the form in a shallow dish of hot water.  The butter should slide out easily after a little warming.
Molded butter
Don't let your abundant herb harvest go to waste!  For more ways to preserve your herbs for year round use, here are some additional blogs:
To dry your herbs, see Harvesting and drying herbs
To make herbal flavored oils, see Quick tip-make your own flavored oils
For herbal vinegars, see Make your own flavored vinegars
For herbal salts, see Using herbs, flowers and fruit for flavored sugars and salts

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