How to preserve fresh herbs?

There's no herb storage method that can retain the flavour of fresh herbs, but if you find yourself with more than you can possibly use, there are some methods that will work. Drying them in the microwave or oven is a great method if you want to have dried herbs on hand in the pantry. If you want to have something that more closely resembles fresh herbs for dressings and stews? In that case, the freezer is a good option.

Freeze fresh herbs

Parsley, basil and sage are difficult to dry, because their colour will change into brown, and to preserve the colour and taste it's best to freeze these kind of herbs. In fact freezing herbs is very easy, with these steps:
  • Clean the herbs with a wet cloth and then chop them into fine pieces.
  • Place two tablespoons of the chopped herbs into an ice cube tray.
  • Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to the herbs. Press the herbs down gently so they are compacted.
  • Freeze the cubes and then transfer the frozen cubes from the tray to a freezer-safe container.  
You can use these herbs for stews, grilled fish and for a salad dressing. 

How to dry herbs in the oven 

For rosemary, thyme and marjoram drying is the best method, in the oven.
  • Take several branches of herbs and wrap a rubber band around the stems.
  • Hang upside down by the rubber band. If you can hang it from a rack it will allow more air to circulate around the herbs.
It takes about a week or two for the herbs to dry. Once dry, remove the dried leaves from the stem. Store the dried leaves in an air tight container. 

Tip: Add a label on the container to memorize which herbs are inside, herbs look alike once they are dried. 

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