I have a little workhorse herb garden next to my patio (and just outside my kitchen door). I love being able to just run out and clip fresh herbs when I'm cooking. So convenient. So fresh. So tasty.
But now that the nights are getting cooler, it's time to start harvesting some of those herbs for . . . using later.
I start by cutting herbs from the garden, washing them in the sink, and setting them out to dry on my counter.
Although I used to tie and hang my herbs to dry, this year I'm trying a dehydrator. It's much quicker -- but it still takes a long time for those bigger, thicker leaves (sage and rosemary, for example). (And for chili peppers, too.)
After the herbs are dry, I put them in little jars. (I don't crush or crumble the leaves until I cook with them.)
I don't dry my basil, though.
Instead, I make "basil bombs" -- and freeze to use later.
First, I wash the basil in the sink, and dry it on the counter. Then, I chop it up and mix it with olive oil.
Then . . . I fill an ice cube tray with the basil/olive oil "paste" and stick it in the freezer. Later, I'll pop the individual "basil bombs" from the trays and store them in a zip lock bag. When I need some basil in a recipe, I can just add one of my "bombs" -- and I'll be all set with (nearly) fresh basil from my herb garden.
(Amazing . . . how all that basil in my sink . . . crushes down to fill just one little ice cube tray . . . )
I feel like I'm preserving a little bit of summer. . . when I harvest and preserve my herbs.
Keep your fingers crossed that I can get one more harvest in before winter comes!
Be sure to stop by and wish Carole a very happy birthday today! (And it's a biggie.) (Just sayin.)