10 May 2011

quick tip: freezing herbs

Let's have a little chat about cilantro.

I love cilantro. 
(I know, lots of you can't stand it. It's definitely a love or hate kind of herb.)

Last year, I tried to grow cilantro.
But it needs to be harvested frequently, and seeds need to be sown every few weeks to ensure a consistent supply.
A little high-maintenance, aren't we, cilantro?
I don't do high-maintenance plants.

So I gave up and decided to buy my cilantro at the grocery store when I needed it, 
like normal people.
Except I hate buying a whole bunch, using 2 tablespoons, and then composting the rest.
I choose not to be wasteful.
So I decided to start freezing it.
 It's super easy.
You wash the herbs (any herbs, or at least leafy ones, like cilantro, parsley, basil),
chop to desired size and pack them into ice cube trays.
Then add just enough water* to cover (this holds the herbs together) and freeze.
Pop 'em out, stick 'em in a marked bag.
Take one or two or twenty out, as needed, thaw and use as desired.

When I plan accordingly, I throw the cubes I need into a strainer in the sink and let them defrost gradually. But usually I end up running lukewarm water over them in the strainer at the last minute.
Same difference.
 They were the perfect touch for these baked black bean taquitos. The kids and I gobbled them up so fast, there weren't any left for Hubs (and the kids are not fans of corn tortillas).

Freezing herbs.
Easy.
Saves money.
Saves time.
Do it.

How do you preserve herbs?

*I believe I froze basil once by topping with olive oil instead of water, then used them for pesto or threw them right into spaghetti sauce. Correct me if I'm wrong and this doesn't work. . .

4 comments:

jenn said...

Mmm, never tried cilantro, maybe this year though! If it doesn't freeze again and I lose all the herbs in my garden that is... I froze basil last year in sort of the same manner - however I poured boiling water into the ice cube trays to blanch the basil, then stuck the trays in the freezer. I don't know why I blanched them. Well, yes I do. My "Preserving the Harvest" book just told me to, so I did. I just popped the whole frozen cube (or two) into my spaghetti/lasagna sauce when I needed basil. SO GOOD!

K said...

What a great idea! I can't keep any plants alive...so I always have to buy at the store. I will be doing this with the next bunch I buy! Thanks!

Marisa said...

Jenn—using boiling water to blanch the herbs is a great idea!

Mandy said...

great idea....never thought of freezing herbs before!

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