Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Idea: Storing fresh herbs from your garden.

September is the time to start gathering your herbs from your garden.
You want to gather as much as you can before the chilly nights and your plants frost.
I pulled my herb plants (parsley, basil, oregano, and cilantro) from the roots.

The second step is to clean them.
...every single leaf...
Then lay them out to dry on a clean paper towel.

how to preserve fresh basil; freezing basil; garden basil; sweet basil; how to save basil for the winter

Next, I work on preserving them so that I have fresh garden herbs throughout the Winter.
If you told me 8 years ago that I'd spend a day preserving herbs, I'd say no way.  I'm officially o l d!!
Depending on the herb, I preserve them by either drying them or freezing them.
I dry all of the oregano and half of the parsley.  I freeze all of the basil and the cilantro.

To dry them, I wash the herbs on the stems and then hang them upside down to dry in the sun.
Tip:  Hang them inside next to a window.  I use dental floss to bunch the stems and hang them.
After 7 - 10 days, they should be fully dry and crisp.
You want to take two fingers and slide down the stem.  
All of the leaves will fall off perfectly and can be stored in a plastic container or bag for future use.

To freeze them, I remove the leaves from the stems before washing.
I then pat the leaves the dry, but don't let them sit too long otherwise they will wilt.
The last step is to lay the leaves out flat and freeze in portions.
Remember, once frozen, they are very difficult to separate without fully defrosting.
I always make sure to date and label the bags because some herbs linger like mint and cilantro.

Have you or will you preserve fresh herbs?


  1. I've always enjoyed the smell of basil.

    1. I love basil! I put it in so many dishes and then people ask how I make it so flavorful. It’s just the basil. ;)

  2. Ewwww on cilantro! When they asked Julia Child what is the best way to use cilantro, she said, you take it, you wash it, you put it on the floor and step on it :)
    I only freeze celery leaves as I cannot live without them, I just wash them, cut them finely, and put them in the plastic container and up in the freezer they go to be used throughout the winter for soups and everything else. I will prepare my winter supplies of it in November before it disappears, but it can be grown throughout the winter if you have a light basement, just put the pots down there near a window.

    1. Lol agreed- I hate cilantro and the stench is leaves on your fingers after touching it is even worse. I’ve never used celery leaves, but now I must try it to add to my soups. My favorite is minestrone soup in the winter. I could probably throw some in there to add to the flavor. Thanks!!

    2. Probably because you mostly have the stick celery type, ours is like parsley, round white root and then a bunch of leaves on it, I use the root for pures and leaves for all savoury dishes, it has an extremely appetizing fragrance, especially in garlicky and tomato dishes.

    3. Yes! I've never seen the leafy type. To be honest, I don't like the celery stick. If I see a cut piece of celery stick floating in my soup, I scoop it out. But I can see the leaf creating flavor without the crunchy, veiny vegetable being present.

  3. Geez, so this is what happens when you hit 30? Are you going to take up knitting at 40? lol

    Having some stored away sure is a win. I had no idea how to do it, got me beat.

    1. LOL No, no knitting for me. Maybe puzzles!! Go ahead and make some fun, but my cooking is so fabulous thanks to that fresh, garden basil. :) The cat may even eat it!

  4. I had a big, beautiful basil plant on my deck and the little neighborhood terror (squirrel) ripped it to shreds in July. So, no preserving for me this year :(

    1. Oh no!! I would quickly run to the farmers market and scoop up as much fresh basil as I can before the season is over. All the others I can do without, but not basil!


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