Harvest herbs to bring the flavors of summer into the kitchen year-round.
If you’ve enjoyed fresh herbs this summer, there’s no reason not to have that fresh taste through winter. Harvest and preserve herbs now before the first freeze.
How to Harvest Herbs:
- Cut in mid-morning, after the dew dries, but before temperatures begin to climb. This is when the essential oils of the plant are strongest.
- Harvest herbs often until frost. Be careful not to cut too close to the ground.
- At the end of the season, harvest the entire plant.
Three Ways to Preserve Herbs:
- Bind small bundles of rosemary, thyme, oregano and other herbs and hang in a warm place out of direct sunlight.
- After a few days, place herbs on a cookie sheet in a 150 degree oven for an hour.
- To dry a few sprigs at a time, place them between paper towels in your microwave. Zap for 30 seconds, wait a few minutes, then zap again until the herbs are dry.
- Or use a dehydrator for crisp-dry herbs in three hours or less.
- Lightly coat clean, dry herbs, such as basil and parsley, with olive oil and freeze on cookie sheets.
- Or place herbs in ice cube trays filled with water, juice or olive oil. For a pesto-like paste, blend herbs with olive oil before freezing.
- Once frozen, store in freezer-safe containers.
- Place 1/2 cup of washed, dry herbs, such as dill, basil, tarragon or thyme, in a clean pint glass jar and fill with oil or vinegar.
- Steep for a month.
- Strain into a clean jar or decorative bottle. Add a fresh herb sprig. Close tightly.