Harvesting, Preserving, Storing Harvesting specific to how will be used basil – foliage dill – flowers, seeds chives – leaves, flowers fennel - bulbs
Harvesting, Preserving, Storing foliage -just before flower buds form leaves contain most concentrated oils Flowering herb loses potency
Harvesting, Preserving, Storing gather herbs in early morning Snip leaves as needed to cook harvest larger quantities to preserve for winter Cut with scissors just above leaf remove no more than three quarters of plant
Drying away from direct sunlight air circulation
Drying Rinse in cool water Shake off or blot extra moisture Tie stems firmly into bundle with rubber band Place bundle in paper bag, gathering top of bag around the stems Label, hang in dry place where the temperature doesn't get above 80 degrees After two to four weeks, should be dry and crumbly.
Drying Alternative - place small herbs, individual leaves on screens Cover with paper towels or cheesecloth
Drying Heat in oven – 180 degrees, 3-4 hours, door open Microwave – on paper towel, 1-3minutes in 10 second intervals Commercial dehydrator – depends on herb Shorter drying time Must not cook
Storage Once dried, can store for year in cool, dark Keep leaves whole, crush when using them Airtight container Dark cupboard.
Freezing Fresh flavor Some frozen dry Others need water, oil
Freezing Wash, shake off excess moisture Strip leaves and chop in processor or blender Place in freezer bag, label, freeze immediately
Freezing Wash, strip leaves Place in food processor with small amount of water or olive oil Process, pour into ice cube trays to freeze When frozen put cubes into labeled freezer bags
Vinegars Single herb vinegars – tarragon, basil Combinations – peppercorns, garlic, hot peppers, mint, cardamom
Vinegar White, rice vinegars mild tasting- delicate herbs such as dill, tarragon Stronger herbs – rosemary, thyme – cider, wine vinegar white vinegar for colored leaves or flowers (opal basil, borage flowers
Vinegars Bruise handful of carefully washed herbs of choice Put in jar, pour cold vinegar over them Tighten lid, set in warm spot 3-4 weeks Taste, strain into decorative bottle Add sprig of fresh herb