Tips by t.e.l.l. New England
Whether you’ve picked up one too many bundles of basil at the farm stand, or your marjoram is sprouting like crazy, there’s no point in letting those fresh herbs go to waste. There are many different methods of herbal preservation…most you’ve heard of before, but some are a bit more unique (hello homemade herbal butters!). One thing we’ve found is that all are relatively easy to actuate and shine a new light on herbal preservation. Not to mention, they provide inspiration for inexpensive yet genuine gift giving ideas when those holiday bells toll.
An easy way to add flavor to your cooking Simply bring 1 cup (approx. 2 sticks) of your favorite unsalted butter to room-temperature and combine with 1 cup of loosely packed herbs (one type or a blend). Mash until combined and freeze. Use year round with your favorite New England dishes!
Herb-Infused Olive Oils
Combine your favorite dried herbs with the olive oil of your choice in a sauce-pan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is bubbling slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before straining and bottling. Once cooled, strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth, then funnel the liquid into your bottle. Enjoy!
Herbal Ice Cubes
Freeze herbs and water to add flavor to some of your favorite iced beverages. Simply combine in an ice cube tray and freeze. Best with drink-friendly herbs such as rosemary, mint and sage. ALT: combine olive oil and herbs in an ice cube tray and freeze. Use as needed when cooking poultry, fish, vegetables and other foods.
Combine dried, crushed herbs and local honey in a jar. Cover with a lid and place in your pantry for 5-7 days. A stronger flavor can be acheived by allowing the herbs to infuse for a longer period. When desired flavor is reached, strain honey.
Add layers of complexity to just about any meal in not time at all. Simply combine dry herbs and coarse sea salt in a blender. Store in a glass jar with a secure lid for future use.