Friday, December 7, 2012

Ten Minute Tips : Freezing Herbs

There is nothing worse than deciding to make something delicious and realising halfway through that the herbs you bought the week before are in a festering puddle at the bottom of the fridge, or those carefully tended pots on your windowsill are drier than the Sahara desert.  Christmas is a time when you need herbs for absolutely everything : stuffing, turkey, sauces and gravies, the list is endless...  Fear not, I have a quick and incredibly easy way to make sure you have enough herbs to see you over the holidays and for months afterwards.  You can freeze them.  Trust me, I've been doing this for years.

I'm using sage as an example here because it's never around when you want it (like when I made my Christmas Dinner Pies) and my stash of frozen sage saved me from certain doom.  And of course, three days later, the supermarket was full of little packs of fresh sage leaves.  So I bought some and froze it, knowing that I'll have plenty to keep me going.

Freezing sage is easy : pick the leaves from the stem and check them carefully to make sure there's no brown bits - throw those leaves away.  Give them a quick pat with a piece of kitchen paper and pack them flat into a ziplock bag before putting them into your freezer.  I actually have two freezers, a huge fridge freezer in the kitchen and a chest freezer in the SuperShed, both crammed to the brim with food.

You can freeze loads of other types of herbs too.  I regularly snip chives into a container and reduce great big bunches of flat leaf parsley to smithereens, both of which reside in my freezer and defrost in seconds when I need them.  Thyme freezes best when you strip the leaves from the stem rather than freezing the woody stems, and the same goes for rosemary.

All it takes is 10 short minutes and you're sorted.  Now you can sit down and relax...



  1. Great tip! Now: can one freeze mint, praytell?

  2. Guess which two herbs I didn't mention... mint & basil because they don't freeze terribly well. They blacken and are basically fit for nothing

  3. Basil and mint are best whizzed up with olive oil (or made into pesto) and then frozen. Or, mint leaves can be frozen into ice cubes for drinks. Thyme and rosemary are really easy to grow, too.

  4. Aoife - ah, ok. I was afraid of that.

    Bill - interesting! I usually want them for mojitos anyway so I'll try the ice cubes thing :)

  5. I also freeze my mint in ice cubes!!! I must freeze my parsley though... I have loads of the stuff!

  6. Great Tips! Nothing worse than seeing food going to waste and so many people buy big bags of herbs only to use such a tiny amount.