We have several options: dry them, freeze them, salt them or make a great pesto!
A summer longer than usual, a particularly lucky green thumb and loving care have ensured that your herbs, in pots or on the ground, are still beautiful and luxuriant, but are you afraid that they will not survive the first colds?
Here are some ideas for keep them for the winter.
Do you love aromatic herbs in the kitchen? It will be wonderful to release its flavors, aromas and memories into sauces, soups, roasts and all the warmer and tastier you will want to cook in the months that separate us from next spring; even more beautiful to make it a decorative bouquet to set up your table.
How to store aromatic herbs for the winter
Dried aromatic herbs are perfect in the kitchen, as a flavor to integrate (and try to reduce) sea salt both in cooked and raw preparations, but also as infusions or packaged in small gifts
To dry and preserve the aromatic herbs, once you have collected the desired sprigs, wash them well, dry them (preferably with the help of a centrifuge) and then hang them upside down in a warm place (the proximity of a radiator is perfect), indicatively for a couple of days, but a lot depends on the humidity of the room, so check periodically to understand when they are ready. When the leaves are dry, remove them from their twig and store them in paper or natural fabric bags, or in glass jars. For the herbs you plan to use in infusions or decoctions (mint, linden, mallow …) you can keep whole flowers and leaves; for those you prefer as a condiment (marjoram, oregano …) it is better to crumble the leaves after detaching them from the twig so that they are already perfectly ready for use.
2. In salt
The simplest secret for a soup that you smell in summer is a fresh basil leaf. It is just as simple to have it always available: gently wash and dry your basil leaves and place them in a jar alternating them with a layer of fine sea salt.
Even sage and rosemary, combined with salt, are fragrant comfort seasonings for the winter. In this case we prepare a flavored salt and the recipe is very simple as well as super customizable (you can mix the herbs you prefer, in the quantities you prefer): you have to wash and dry the leaves very well, cut them with a sharp crescent and place them in a jar with salt and ground pepper. To be kept in the refrigerator, or to be given away at Christmas!
DIY flavored salt
The fastest and most functional technique, and two herbs above all for which it lends itself perfectly: chives and parsley. Wash the leaves, dry them very well and cut them finely with a scissors or a sharp knife and then put them in the freezer in a plastic or glass food container or, if you need to save space, in a food bag. If necessary, you can use them in cooking directly from the freezer or, always frozen, as a seasoning or final garnish of any hot dish depending on your taste.
How and where to use parsley
4. Frozen in oil
Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and all aromatic herbs with a more structured leaf can be stored in oil (or in broth) in the freezer for later use during cooking.
The quickest technique is to wash and roughly cut the herbs and then insert them in the ice cubes, which will be filled – each one – for two thirds with the desired herb and for the remaining third with the oil. Left to freeze in the freezer overnight, the flavored cubes can then be extracted from the tray and placed in space-saving bags (to be labeled with the name of the herb inserted). Each cube can contain a single variety of grass, or you can invent your favorite bouquets and combinations. All those herbs that plan to use raw or at the end of cooking do not lend themselves very well to this preservation technique.
A great classic for storing herbs, and basil in particular, is basil pesto. Covered with oil in a closed jar, it will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, but if you prefer to stock up for the winter, you can also freeze it. The ideal in this case is to portion it fresh so as to thaw only the necessary from time to time, an excellent way to do it is once again that of the ice trays, from which a cube or more will be extracted from time to time depending on the amount of seasoning needed.