Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What You Can Do With Summer Herbs

Last year a friend of mine gave me a great suggestion on how to store basil for the winter. I grow this herb in my garden in the summer. At the end of the season I cut the plant down, place it in zip locks and freeze them. During the winter months I take the basil out and add to various dishes. Unfortunately, it looks wilted and unhappy when it comes out of the zip lock.

My friend suggested that I cut the plant, chop it up, add it to an ice cube try and fill with water. I tried this last year and it worked great! I now freeze them and then empty them into a zip lock and do it again and again until I have a good winter supply. When I am making sauce I just go out to my freezer and pop a couple of cubes into my sauce. Guess what-the basil stays very fresh, full of flavor and smells just like it does when I pull it from the garden.

This photo just shows the basil before I chop in up.

This method works well for other herbs too. Below I've chopped up mint to add to my favorite drink, the Mojito.

Just in case you want to indulge:

  • 3 fresh mint sprigs
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of fresh lime juice
    1 1/2 oz light rum
  • club soda

In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with *chilled* club soda (or seltzer). Add a lime slice and the remaining mint, and serve. Add some of your minty ice cubes and you are all set.

While I'm on the subject, this also works well with your left over coffee in the morning. Pour it into ice cube trays for later use. Never waste your coffee when you can freeze it and make some iced coffee later in the day. Yum!!
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1 comment:

  1. mmmm....I love basil! I just bought some today at the store for dinner tonight. I'll have to freeze the leftovers. Thanks!