Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600641


     Some  herbs are best frozen while still on the   stalk.
Dillweed,  in particular, is easiest to handle if you gather
a  whole bunch and freeze it in a freezer bag or  container.
When it's frozen, snip off bits as if it were fresh.  If you
freeze sage, rosemary  and thyme on the stalk, they are much
easier to toss in the cooking pot and retrieve later.       

     Another  alternative  is  to snip the leaves  from  the
stems,  rinse and  dry them thoroughly.  Lay leaves out on a
cookie sheet and  leave overnight in the  freezer  to freeze
individually  so they will not stick together when collected
in one container.   Pack leaves  tightly into  a freezer bag
or container.   Use  leaves  straight from the freezer.     

     If  leaves  are  not  frozen  on trays, the leaves will
stick  together, but can  easily be broken off  in portions.
Don't bother chopping  herbs  before freezing them, they are
easy to chop when frozen.                                   

     If  you  would  rather  do  more  work on freezing day,
dicing the herbs well before you freeze them gives you added
convenience at cooking time.   Pack into small containers or
freezer  bags.  Diced  herbs  can also be frozen in ice cube
trays  with a little  water  or  stock  to cover.  Use herbs
frozen in ice cube trays in soups and stews.                

     Herbs  may  also  be   incorporated   in   ready-to-use
mixtures, bouquets garni, and then frozen.                  

     There are plenty of  variations  in  what constitutes a
bouquet garni.  The most popular  combination  is  a bouquet
composed of three or four sprigs of parsley, two  sprigs  of
thyme and  half  a  bay  leaf,  tied  together  with kitchen
twine.  The  bouquets, packed into freezer bags, can be used
one at a time,  or  dropped into sauce, stock or soup       
duringthe last minutes of cooking.                          

     The  same  can  be  done  with  chopped or dried herbs.
Collect them  in a  4-inch  square  of cheesecloth  and  tie
tightly with kitchen twine.   To make  enough  herb  mix  to
fill a dozen bags, combine 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley,
2 tablespoons of chopped thyme and  4 crumbled  bay  leaves.
Add a few tablespoons of chopped celery leaves  or  a little
marjoram, if desired.  Freeze bouquets and use straight from
the freezer.  These infusions make good food better.        

     Herb blends that are added to dishes  a pinch at a time
can  also  be frozen.  These  blends  are called fine herbs.
The  traditional mix is equal  portions  of parsley, chives,
and chervil,  and  half as much tarragon.   Since  all these
herbs freeze better than they dry, make  up  small  batches,
wash well, dry, chop and freeze.                            

     Freeze  any  of  the  following blends.  For fish,  mix
 equal quantities of thyme, basil, sage, sweet marjoram  and
crushed  fennel seeds.   For poultry,   game  and meat,  try
equal  quantities of sweet or French marjoram, basil, thyme,
and lemon thyme.  For vegetables, mix sweet marjoram, basil,
chervil  and  summer  savory.  For  cheese , egg  or  potato
dishes, soups  and  sauces; mix parsley, chives, chervil and

     Herbs can be  frozen in oil or butter.  Unless blanched
basil loses  its  color in  the freezer to a greater  extent
than  most  herbs,  so try  freezing basil in oil.  Also try
adding 1/4 cup of oil to a cup of packed leaves of basil, or
rosemary,  sage, tarragon or thyme.  Spoon the mixtures into
ice cube trays.  Once frozen, transfer them to freezer bags.
Remember,   when  you  add  them  to  marinades  and   salad
dressings, they are highly concentrated.                    

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