NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry

Preserving Herbs

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At the very start of May, my herbs had been flowering and seeding for a few weeks, but were still plentiful shrubs. I decided that it was a great time to chop them back, clear out the woody bits (sage and thyme, I’m talking to you!) and curb the creep of the oregano. Lingering from the previous bountiful herb season was the guilt that I experienced from proudly harvesting a heaving basket full of herbs, with no idea what to do with most of them once I took them inside. Sure, I used as many as I could fresh, but I found that after procrastinating too long, they ended up in the bin. Sinful!

So, this year I cropped back my basil (yet to see if it is happy about this), sage, oregano, thyme, chives and parsley and set about preserving them. Basil was blended with parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil resulting in a tasty pesto. Some went straight into home made minestrone soup, while three single serving sized bags are now in the freezer.

The sage, oregano, parsley, chives and thyme were baked on a medium temperature for about forty minutes. Leaves were painstakingly plucked off all but the thyme twigs first and placed on baking paper within oven trays. The thyme was baked as is and then the tiny dry leaves were simply scrunched off later on. There was a little time needed to pick out stray bits of non-herby twigs before packaging, but nothing to write home about.

A good quantity of each of the dry herbs went into the blender with some shop bought marjoram and processed to restock my then empty store bought jar of Italian Herbs, which is a staple in our home.

A very pleasing activity resulting in zero waste and a fragrant pizza-smelling-like kitchen. I recommend actually cooking pizza the night that you do this, as the salad that I had made for dinner was a little bit of a let down for my husband.

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