As soon as you pick a sprig of basil, that intense flavorful smell fills the air. It sends a simple tomato sandwich soaring. Sprinkling freshly picked cilantro over the top of your taco takes it to another taste dimension. Sauté home grown rosemary in olive oil with chunky potato fries to add a sweet fragrant aroma.
Soon, summer will be a memory, and our edible gardens will be less populated. Once frost sets in, some tender herbs will be lost. Basil, cilantro and lemon balm do not generally survive winter without losing their leaves to one of the first cold snaps.
When winter shows up, we can still use the flavors of summer when preparing casseroles, sandwiches, soups, sauces and even in iced or hot tea recipes. Before chilly nights kill off those delicate but delicious leaves, freeze or dry your herbs for use during the wintry weather.
Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare basil, mint, rosemary, thyme for freezing:
This link mentions how to freeze herbs such as chives, lemongrass, parsley:
Freeze dill, chives, parsley, tarragon and other herbs using suggestions from Purdue University:
More information is available at these two sites about freezing herbs like oregano, cilantro and parsley:
On frozen days, cook up a warming dish using your frozen summer herbs in recipes such as these from the University of Florida. Here, drying is discussed as another effective way to preserve fresh herbs. Recipes include vegan-friendly Fresh tomato and pita chip salad and Green beans and potatoes. Dessert, chicken, pasta and dried herb blend recipes could be useful in making some brighter tasting winter dishes this year:
Find some fresh and exciting herb uses at this site. Try Strawberry Smoothie, using mint leaves, for example:
Don’t let those herbs go to waste. Pick them to preserve their lively flavor for future recipes. You will be glad you went to such little effort to keep on savoring summer.