Saturday, October 22, 2011

Herb harvest - What to do with the bounty

Going Green Mama is mourning the death of her garden.

I can't argue with a forecast of 30 degrees. So this week, before our quick trip to the grandparents, I did what I had to do: Harvest my herbs.

Down went the bushy basil and oregano, both of which had rapidly spread in our cool October weather. Down went the chives, standing tall in my pots. Down went the last of my mint that hadn't previously toasted in the September heat.

Normally I'd be on a cooking frenzy, or busy freezing or drying herbs, but a planned trip meant my evenings were numbered. So instead, I whipped up an extra batch of spaghetti sauce in between my loads of laundry and took on new projects that I had not yet tried in my kitchen:

Basil oil, which I've seen recently in several farm-fresh cookbooks. I love the fact that I can freeze it in 1/4 cup measurements in my muffin tin - just the right amount for a dinner meal. (I'm tempted to pair it with a recipe for garlic vinegar that I found for a fall salad.)

Chive butter, an idea I borrowed from a friend. Can't wait to use it as an alternative to boring Country Crock!

The mint I chose to enjoy as hot tea (great for my recovering self) opted to freeze the rest to preserve the oils but am on the hunt for ideas on what to do with it when I return!

What are your favorite ways to squeeze the last bit of enjoyment out of a season's herbs?

1 comment:

Green Bean said...

Great tips. I have to admit that I never preserve herbs - mostly because they seem less urgent than the tomatoes and the squash and the fruit and everything else and then once I realize I should do something about them, poof they are gone. Thank you for the ideas!


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