Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Smart Grower: Freeze your home grown herbs for later use

8 Steps for Freezing Herbs in Oil

Guest Blog by Green Gardens, a nursery in San Diego, California—Wet spring in So. Calif. usually means lots of production out of your garden.  Instead of letting it all go to seed clip and freeze for later use.  Here’s how: choose firm, fresh herbs, ideally from your own garden. If you wish, you can chop them fine. Or leave them in larger sprigs and leaves.

Here we froze a combination of finely-chopped and whole herbs such as rosemary, fennel stalk, sage, and oregano.

Pack the wells of ice cube trays about 2/3 full of herbs.

You can mix up the herbs, too; think about freezing a bouquet garni of sage, thyme, and rosemary to add to winter roast chickens and potatoes!

Pour extra-virgin olive oil or melted, unsalted butter over the herbs.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Remove the frozen cubes and store in freezer containers or small bags.

Don't forget to label each container or bag with the type of herb (and oil) inside!

Herb section at Green Gardens Nursery in Pacific Beach
Source: Green Gardens Nursery, 4910 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109. 858-483-7846 and Green Gardens Landscape and Design, 5780 Chesapeake Court #4, San Diego CA 92123.  858-483-8803.

Also from Green Gardens Nursery:

May: What to plant in your kitchen herb garden

Bushy annuals, 1 to 2 feet tall, come in a variety of flavors. In addition to sweet Italian types, try spicy cinnamon basil, zesty lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum citrodorum), or pungent purple-leafed kinds like 'Dark Opal' and 'Purple Ruffles'. 'African Blue' basil is a tender perennial. Use fresh leaves in pastas, pesto, salads, and soups.

Clumping perennial, 1 to 2 feet tall, with grasslike leaves bears edible rose-purple flowers in early summer. Grow onion-flavored chives (Allium schoenoprasum) or garlic chives (A. tuberosum). Use the leaves in salads and sauces, the flowers as garnishes or salad toppings.

French tarragon.
 (Artemisia dracunculus). Upright perennial, 1 to 2 feet tall, has narrow green leaves with spicy anise flavor. Give plants sun and excellent drainage; too much fertilizer produces tender growth with little flavor. To harvest, snip out tips. Use in egg, chicken, and fish dishes, or in bĂ©arnaise sauce.

Perennial English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) forms mounds of gray-green foliage topped by flower spikes. Compact varieties such as L.a. 'Munstead' (11/2 feet tall) and L.a. 'Hidcote' (11/2 to 2 feet) fit best in raised beds. Toss the fragrant leaves on the grill to flavor meats, or steep the flowers for lemonade.

These hardy perennials, 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall, have invasive roots that can choke out less vigorous herbs, so give them their own box. Set plants 12 to 18 inches apart. In addition to familiar spearmint (Mentha spicata) and peppermint (M. piperita), try apple mint (M. suaveolens), pineapple mint (M.s. 'Variegata'), and chocolate mint. Use spearmint for cooking, others to flavor tea.

Annual flowers in vivid shades of yellow or red. Dwarf kinds (to 15 inches tall) work best in raised beds. Edible blossoms and leaves add a peppery, cresslike flavor to salads.

Bushy perennial grows 1 to 2 feet tall. Choose pungent Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum) or milder Italian oregano (O. majoricum). Use in pastas, pizza toppings, sauces, soups, and stews.

A biennial grown as an annual, it forms 6- to 12-inch tufts. Dark green curly-leafed types make a handsome garnish; many cooks prefer the stronger flavor and smoother texture of flat-leafed Italian parsley.

 (Rosmarinus officinalis). Prized for its aromatic, evergreen leaves, this Mediterranean native comes in upright and trailing forms. Chefs prefer the resinous foliage of bushy, upright varieties like 'Tuscan Blue' (6 feet or taller), which bears edible bright blue flowers in winter and early spring. Use the leaves to flavor pork, lamb, and poultry.

Bushy perennial reaches 1 to 2 feet tall. For the classic flavor associated with turkey stuffing, try garden sage (Salvia officinalis) or dwarf sage (S.o. minumus). More decorative varieties are golden 'Icterina' and variegated 'Tricolor'. Use in soups, stews, and poultry stuffings.

Sweet marjoram.
(Origanum majorana). Usually grown as a summer annual, this plant reaches 1 to 2 feet tall. Its tiny leaves are sweet with a milder flavor than
Greek oregano. Use to flavor eggs, soups, herb butters, and vinegars.

Green Gardens Nursery in San Diego
Hardy perennial English thyme (Thymus vulgaris) grows about 1 foot tall; its tiny, pungent leaves add mild tang to fish, pork, poultry, and vegetables. Similar-tasting silver thyme (T.v. 'Argenteus') is more ornamental but less hardy. For zesty citrus flavor (and pretty yellow-green foliage), try lemon thyme (T. citriodorus) or lime thyme.

Green Gardens Nursery
4910 Cass Street
Pacific Beach

No comments:

Post a Comment