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!
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:
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.