Fresh herbs retain their flavor when properly frozen and can be preserved for a long time. Dried herbs usually do not preserve their flavor.
Frozen herbs can be used in cooked dishes, stews, and soups, however cannot be used as a garnish because they do not retain their fresh appearance when defrosted. Defrosted frozen herbs will still be flavorful but will look wilted and limp.
You can freeze cilantro, parsley, basil, fennel, dill, mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and other herbs.
There are several methods of freezing the herbs.
You can simply wash the herbs under cold water, transfer to a paper towel to remove the moisture, and freeze them. After they are frozen, transfer the herbs to an airtight container or a sealed freezer bag.
Another method is to grind the herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays. This is a great way of preserving the herbs and saving time, because you will not have to chop the herbs before each meal and you prevent the possible waste because herbs don’t stay fresh for very long. The big plus is that you retain the fresh flavor of the herbs!
I freeze my herbs by grinding them with olive oil if I intend to use them in hot meals and with water if I want them for my infused water or teas.
Generally, freezing the olive oil is not recommended, but it is okay to freeze the olive oil if you consume it immediately after defrosting.
Frozen Herbs with Olive oil or Water
- 1 cup of fresh Herbs (Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Mint, Rosemary, Fennel, Basil, etc)
- 2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Water)
Put herbs and olive oil (or water) to a blender or food processor jar and puree well. I like using olive oil because I do not like my meals to be watered down. I use water when I want to use my frozen herbs to make teas or infused water. I use olive oil when I want to use the herbs in my hot meals.
Scoop the mixture into an ice cube tray. If using water, pour some more to give a shape to the cubes. Place the tray to the freezer.
When the mixture hardens, pop them out of the tray and put the frozen cubes in a sealed freezer bag or a container.
When you need to serve a hot meal simply take one frozen cube and drop it to the bowl.