Flakes are flying outside. Of all the things growing in my garden, fresh herbs are the hardest to bid goodbye to for the winter. The thought of shelling out for those pricey plastic packets of herbs at the store motivates me to freeze a large portion of my herb harvest to enjoy through the cold months ahead.
Earlier this summer I made numerous batches of pesto from my basil. I form and freeze flat pouches of it and then break off frozen bits as I need, adding the olive oil at that point depending upon the use.
Now it's the cold hardiest herbs that I've left to the bitter end so tonight I'm putting up chives and parsley.
Chives are so easy to freeze and so rewarding to have at hand during comfort food season. Who wouldn't want some for baked potatoes, soups or pasta toppings?
Chives should always be cut at the base of the plant so that you aren't left with ragged brown ends that mar the plant's appearance but moreso that you use the entire portion. Gather your chive foliage in "ponytails" and use scissors to simply snip in small pieces.
Freeze them in small jars or plastic containers to use throughout the winter.
Lots of folks recommend freezing herbs in ice cube trays. You chop the herbs, mix them with water and freeze into cubes. I find the process a little tedious and prefer to freeze whole leaves in plastic bags.
For flat-leaf Italian parsley I pluck the leaves from the stems putting the leaves straight into the salad spinner to wash away any dirt, insect eggs and tiny caterpillars that might be clinging to the foliage. I further dry with the foliage with a paper towel.
Then I press the leaves into a plastic freezer bag, and using a trick I learned awhile back, I roll the compressed parsley into a log and secure with rubber bands. They kind of resemble Christmas crackers but hopefully you'll freeze enough to make it was past the holidays.
Slice off pieces as needed returning the remaining parsley to the freezer.