How to store aromatic herbs?
In order to ensure the conservation of your aromatic plants: mint , parsley , chives or basil , several tips exist!
A widely used method is to keep your herbs for 1 week in the vegetable drawer, wrapped in a damp cloth. Indeed, if this method of preservation does not allow you to keep your aromatic plants for very long, it still offers the opportunity to be able to prepare your cuisine and enjoy herbs for longer!
Make a bouquet garni for your herbal teas or broths
The composition of the bouquet garni changes according to each one because it is a rather personal recipe but according to the standard, it includes at least parsley , thyme and bay leaf, all surrounded by a leek green. It is then to this base that you can addrosemary , garlic, sage, savory, coriander or many other elements. The bouquet garni is used as an infusion for tea and gives that special taste that you often find in grandmother's recipes.
Storing aromatic herbs
Storing your aromatic herbs can be done in three different ways, depending on your needs, your preferences but also the properties of the herb in question. It is generally fresh that aromatic plants are the most interesting for cooking because it is at this time that their concentration of flavors is optimal and therefore the most suitable for the preparation of your dishes!
But since it is not always possible to have fresh herbs from the garden available (unless you have an indoor garden in an apartment), we present our favorite methods for preserving them.
First of all, he points out that certain herbs such as chervil, basil, parsley or chives lose their flavor when they dry out. Other herbs generally retain their flavor even when dry. We therefore advise you to cut your stems of chervil, basil, parsley or chives according to your needs so that they can preserve their flavors.
Tall herbs such as tarragon, sage, coriander or mint can be dried because they already keep better than the raw ones, but freezing them is the best option to preserve the flavors. The option of drying will in some cases be a better way of preservation than freezing or putting in oil , for example for rosemary , thyme , oregano, marjoram or even savory. For drying, make sure your rods are very dry first, for this you can let your rods air dry on a clean cloth for 3 hours if they are not dry or gently dry them with the cloth to do not damage the leaves. The stems you have taken must then be grouped together and then wrapped with a rubber band. Then place them in a dark place. The elastic will tighten when the stems have dried and will keep them bunched together. The herbs can then be stored in glass jars without packing them too much inside. Herbs can be stored for about a year before needing to be restocked.
Freezing generally keeps your herbs much longer than when dried. In particular to preserve parsley or chervil, it is important to freeze them immediately after picking to keep all the flavors of the herbs. As said before, tall grasses also keep better when frozen. Herbs can be kept whole or chopped into small pieces with a knife. For example, the stems of curly parsley can be put whole in the freezer bag because the parsley will chop on its own in the cold. Then start by cutting the stems and pass the herbs in clear water. For varieties that have more fragile leaves, remember not to pour the water directly on the leaves and use your hands to soften the rinse. Then dry them on a clean cloth for 3 hours or dry them directly with the cloth, being careful not to crease the leaves. It is best to cut the herbs with a knife and not with a blender to prevent the herbs from disgorging with water. Remember to write the name of the variety of grass and the date of harvest on the freezer bag with indelible marker before closing the bag and putting it in the freezer. You should know that basil darkens when frozen, to avoid this you can transform it into pesto or chop it to put it in an ice cube tray and then cover it with oil before freezing it.
The oil, when you keep your aromatic herbs in the freezer, helps protect the herbs to prevent them from oxidizing, as can happen quickly in the open air with the most fragile herbs, such as chervil or basil. The oil that coats the leaves prevents the cold from burning them and drying them out. This last solution can be used for all your herbs such as basil , coriander , tarragon or even chervil.Chop the herb of your choice into small pieces which you then place in your ice cube tray. Then add oil on top before you can put your ice cube tray in the freezer. You can use these herb ice cubes directly in your dish. This trick allows you to add flavors to your cooking preparation which will then only take you a few minutes to obtain a good dish already seasoned thanks to the herb ice cubes. Your recipes based on vegetables, potatoes, meat, will be all the more delicious with that extra touch of aromatics.