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Oct 30, 2010 06:04 AM

can fresh herbs be frozen?

I was going to making a dish that called for rosemary, thyme and Italian parsley(in bouquet garni form). Plans changed and I didn't make the dish. Now I'm going out of town and won't be able to use the herbs. I hate to waste them. Can they be frozen and then still be used for a bouquet garni in the future. I looked all over the internet for the answer. Too many different answers so I thought I would turn to the experts. Thanks!

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  1. Hi Rheta! I don't know everything on this topic, but I will tell you what I have done that works. I am always particularly annoyed to throw away basil, so when i have a bunch left over, I chop it finely, toss it with a glug of olive oil, and wrap ice-cube sized amounts tightly in saran wrap and freeze. These are just great for dropping into soups and pasta sauces and frittatas and the like. I imagine you could do the same for parsley, but I haven't. When my parsley starts to get old, I just freeze it in a bag with similarly elderly carrots and celery for use in making stock. If you just pop in into the freezer like that, though, it goes slimy like lettuce. I have heard (but not tried myself) that you can freeze "drier" herbs like rosemary and they keep just fine, but I think for the leafier herbs, you need to coat them in oil to protect the flavor. Just my 2 cents! Oh, and I hear you about too much information out there on the web! I have found the instructions on this site to be reliable:

    1. Agree with the basil idea of adding olive can freeze pretty much all herbs in that way. You can also freezer them in an ice tray with water.

      1. Yes, Rosemary freezes very well.

        Most leafy others turn black and can be frozen but are best kept for stocks because they thaw into slim almost. since you want to use it for bouquet garni its fine, but not if you wanted to make an herb salad or something.

        1. I was just doing some reading about this on a blog (Kalyn's Kitchen), written by someone who has an herb garden, and wants to preserve her bounty. She advocates doing the soft herbs chopped in a bit of oil, and then frozen in ice cube trays (she coated the trays with cooking spray before she put the herbs in). The cubes can be tucked into a bag once thoroughly frozen.

          The process for the harder herbs, like rosemary and thyme, takes a bit more time. She actually put the whole stems in a freezer bag, then into the freezer, and waits a few weeks. When the stem start to fall off in the bag, and she then uses a rolling pin to lightly go over the bag to knock more of the leaves loose. She then stores the herbs in jars in the freezer (I would likely use a plastic container), and claims they still retain near as much flavor and fragrance as when fresh.