A while ago, I posted Parts 1 and 2 of this series on preserving herbs for use year round. The second involved preserving herbs in salt (sage in that case) and the first preserving tender herbs in vinegar, including tarragon, basil and dill. Throughout the year, depending on the season, I also preserve herbs in the freezer. With the first heavy frost soon upon us, I have the urge not to waste the herbs remaining in my garden, although the ones in pots will be moved to the porch and will over-winter until we get severe cold or deep snow.
Some sturdy herbs, like savory and sage, can simply be placed in the freezer whole. This can also work with the tender herbs like marjoram, oregano and basil, separated into individual leaves. Usually I use typical Genovese basil but this year I am trying this with Thai basil, which is hard to find in the market.
Other herbs do best in pesto form, either a full-blown pesto that includes garlic and nuts along with salt and oil, or simply salt and oil. In my freezer, I have pesto made from marjoram at the height of its glory a month or so ago, basil, dill, fennel fronds, and garlic scapes. While it’s tempting to make neat little cubes, they sometimes crumble. It’s easier (thank you Margaret Roach from A Way to Garden) to make rolls that can be sliced. After covering them in plastic wrap, I roll them in paper, which makes them stiff enough to survive my tendency to overstuff the freezer!