The Potager

The Potager

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saving Herbs

When I removed my lettuce the other day, I also pulled out all the dill and gave the parsley a haircut. The parsley can survive the early frosts. I've picked it fresh up to Christmas in the past. I wasn't so sure about the dill.

This was the dill in the garden.                                      All the dill harvested.

The first way I tried to save the dill was to simply hang it in a dry room. I used a peg shelf in the den. I put a plate under it to catch any leaves that may fall off. I also used a slip knot so I can tighten it as it will get thinner as it dries. When it dries, I'll knock off the dill leaves and store them in a small glass jar.
The second method of preserving the dill was to freeze it. I washed it and dried it very well.

 I used both the salad spinner and paper towels to get out all the moisture.

Then I simply cut off the stems so they would fit into a freezer bag and pushed as much air our as I could while zipping it closed. 
This dill will be used to flavor stocks and soups. The dried stuff will be used for when I need, say, a teaspoon of dill in a recipe.

The parsley was even easier to freeze and is a good technique for when you buy a bunch of fresh parsley at the grocery store and don't need it all.

  Again I washed it and spun it dry, then paper toweled it completely dry. I removed the leaves from the stems. I then laid the leaves on a baking sheet in a single layer and put them in the freezer, uncovered.       

 The next morning I simply bagged them in freezer bags and pushed out as much air as possible. You can see how green they are.

Both the dill and the parsley went into a larger freezer bag labeled "herbs" to double protect them from freezer burn. "Fresh" Herbs for use all winter! How lovely.

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