15 minutes
variable yield
Toward the end of summer, I look for ways to preserve the fresh herbs from my kitchen garden. While the sage is incredibly hardy and will let me harvest it leaf by leaf right into the winter, I'll need to preserve the tender herbs (basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme) to use during the cold weather to come.  It's easy to preserve fresh herbs in oil: use your food processor.
  • fresh herbs of your choice, leaves only
  • mild olive oil

In the summer, freeze fresh herbs in oil for use all winter long. This technique works well with rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, or any of the tender leafy herbs. Don’t bother to use your best extra-virgin olive oil here: plain, mild olive oil works best. Basil cubes are shown in the photo, and the biggest bag in my freezer holds basil cubes – we just love that particular flavor.

how to

Pick the herbs and strip the leaves from the stems. Wash the leaves and dry carefully (I roll them gently in a towel.) Pack the leaves tightly into a measuring cup, then put them in a food processor with an equal amount of olive oil, and process until smooth. Portion into a silicon ice cube container (I like this oneand freeze until solid.


After a day or two, pop out the herb cubes and store them in a zip-top plastic bag. The tray I use has a 1-ounce capacity for each square, and I did not quite fill them to the brim, which means each of my herb blocks equals about 1 1/2 Tbsp. I find it’s a perfect size to add to soups or sauces.


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