Monday, September 22, 2008
Turn Your Fresh Herbs Into Homemade Blends
I love using fresh herbs in my cooking. I hate using just one branch and letting the rest of it wither in my fridge to be thrown out four days later. Here are some methods and recipes, taken from Hallmark Magazine’s Kris Wetherbee, to make the most of your fresh herbs- or just creatively mix the dried ones that are already in your cupboard. Kris has an herb garden and makes herb blends to give as seasonal gifts. I would love for someone to give me a baby food jar filled with a homemade herb blend and a recipe to accompany it- so even if you don’t get around to the actual cooking part, think hostess gift!
Drying- The method best for herbs that have long stems like rosemary, sage and oregano. Hang herbs upside down in bundles in a dark, warm and dry location. You could tape or tack a bundle to the inside of a cupboard.
Freezing- For fresh flavor, in an ice cube tray freeze chopper herbs (individually or in blends) mixed with a little water or broth. Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the tray and store in freezer bags.
PS This is also the method you would use if you steamed, pureed and freeze your own baby food.
“Freeze Drying”- Good for herbs such as chervil, chives, cilantro, dill and tarragon. Place chopped fresh herbs or herb blends in a paper bag and refrigerate. In two to three weeks the herbs will be dried but will still have their bright color and flavor.
Pan-Baked Herbed Salmon
Butternut, Chicken & Lentil Stew
Tuscan Tomato Focaccia
photo from Team Sugar