Wash the herbs and pat them dry, spread them in a single layer on a pan, and put them in the freezer.
Chop chives and lemongrass before you freeze them. These herbs are thin and will freeze within minutes.
Put them into labeled, sealed containers and keep them in the freezer. Push all the air out of plastic containers before sealing them. In most cases, you don't need to thaw these herbs before you use them.
How to Pick Herbs
Fresh herbs add so much flavor and color to a dish without adding any salts or calories, but sometimes telling these leafy greens of fire can be a challenge. Today, we're going to give you the complete guide buying, storing, and cooking with fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are sold cut in the grocery store coolers or even live and still growing in pots at the Farmer's Market. Select fresh-cut herbs that are brightly colored and had no signs of browning or wilting. That's for fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro sold both in bundles. While herbs like rosemary, basil and dill are generally sold in plastic clamshell containers. Let's get familiar with some of the herbs that can add big flavor to your next dish. Basil is probably the most commonly used herbs. Look for all sorts of basil varieties, names for their particular flavor. Basil is the main ingredient in pesto and it's perfect in Italian dishes like pizza or pasta sauce. Cilantro has bright green leaves and thin stems. It's strong, pungent flavor is the classic in Asian, Latin, and Caribbean dishes. You can use Cilantro in salsas, salads, or dips for extra flavor. No one can mistake the cool, refreshing aroma of mint. Peppermint and spearmint are the most common mint variety and are used in fruit salads, teas, or with steam vegetables. Marjoram and oregano are closely related herbs used in French, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Mexican cooking. Marjoram has pale, velvety green leaves and is sweeter and milder than oregano. Mediterranean oregano has bright green leaves and is often sold fresh while Mexican oregano is pungent and mostly sold dried. Rosemary comes from the Mediterranean. It has a tiny lemony taste and its leaves and branches are tough, so strip the leaves carefully before cooking. Thyme is one of the most widely used herbs. It's a type of savory leaf and comes in many different flavors including lemon. It's tiny, pale green leaves and minty aroma enhances poultry, seafood, and vegetable dishes. Bay leaves, black dark leaves are easily recognized fresh or dried. They're pungent and better when eaten, so they're usually added to recipe and soups. It's dip for flavor and removed before eating. Parsley is a healthy flavor for herb full of vitamin A and C. Parsley is a staple in Middle Eastern and Italian dishes and can be added to cook dishes or use as a decorative and tasty punch. Sage has long, flat, gray-green leaves that are slightly bitter. Traditionally, sage was used in sauces or poultry stock. Pineapple sage has a sweet, light flavor great for fruit salads or soups. Tarragon has narrow, pointy leaves that hold up well to cooking. French used tarragon for sauces such as barnaise and it also complements tomatoes, artichokes, and squash. The dill plant yields both dill seeds and the dill leaves and is most commonly known as the main ingredient on pickling. Dill can also be used in breads, soups, dips, and as a garnish. You can store all fresh herbs except basil in your refrigerator. Most herbs can be wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel and sealed in an airtight container up to 5 days. To store bunched herbs, simply snip off the ends with scissors and place them upright in a glass of water then cover with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Before using fresh herbs, rinse in cold water and let dry with a paper towel. Use kitchen scissors to separate leaves and discard stems and stalks. Unless otherwise specified, be sure to add fresh herbs to recipes at the end of the cooking time to avoid flavor loss from overcooking. Hardier herbs like rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and oregano can last up to 20 minutes of cooking. Delicate herbs like basil, chives, cilantro, dill, and parsley should be added right at the end. Many herbs can be combined with just a little bit of olive oil to make it delicious and healthy pesto. Use your imagination. When cooking with fresh herbs, the possibilities are endless.
Another tasty way to freeze herbs is to make a paste by mixing 1/3 cup of oil with 2 cups of herbs in a blender until smooth. The paste freezes beautifully in sealed jars or in ice cube trays that are thoroughly wrapped to make them airtight. The paste will also keep for about a week in the refrigerator. In winter, retrieve a frozen paste to give a fresh taste to your dishes. Herbs that are good candidates for grinding into pastes include basil, chervil, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, and tarragon.
Herbs can also be frozen to make decorative ice cubes for party drinks. Freeze strawberries and their leaves, mint sprigs, and woodruff sprigs into an ice ring or block. Boil the water first to make it clear. Once it has cooled, fill the bottom of the mold with the boiled water and freeze. Arrange the herbs you plan to freeze, then continue adding water until the mold is filled.
Some herbs will keep their flavor when frozen. Simply clean the leaves, dry them, and put them in sealed plastic bags (remove all the air before sealing) or another airtight container. Try these herbs:
basil borage chives dill (better frozen than dried) lemongrass mint oregano sage savory (both winter and summer) sorrel (better than dried) sweet woodruff tarragon thyme