These little guys are fresh herbs frozen in olive oil.
They’re the perfect way to preserve herbs, and can go from freezer right to frying pan. Sound like one of those handy housewife helpers from the 1950s to you? We thought so.
Preserve leftover fresh herbs
So, say you have a bunch of fresh herbs lying around that you’re not going to use right away.
And you also have one of these.
And some of this. (I like to use pure olive oil, but use the oil that you’ll cook with.)
Basically, you take your herbs, chop ‘em up, and freeze them in an ice cube tray with olive oil (or melted butter, if you like). Brilliant, right?
An idea worth sharing
Now that’s an idea worth sharing, right? People loved it. Sometimes it’s the simplest things.
I couldn’t resist trying it myself.
Uses for herbs preserved in olive oil
So why would you do this?
As my friend Delynn put it, “This is a good idea so that fresh herbs don’t go to waste and are prepackaged in an easy-to-use olive oil pat. Seems perfect for tossing into a skillet or even thawing out if you need it for a salad dressing or bread dipping.”
Yep, that about sums it up. (What would you use them for?)
I could see tucking one or two under the skin of a chicken before roasting. Or tossing one into a pot of soup. You get the idea.
This will definitely be a go-to herb saver at The Mouse House. I always wind up with extras and never like to waste food.
Olive oil gets weird when it’s cold
If you’ve ever stuck a bottle of olive oil in the fridge, you know what I’m talking about.
It thickens and turns a creamy, waxy white, kind of like soap. It actually looks almost exactly like Crisco or lard.
That’s just fine. You can toss it straight into a frying pan, or wait for it to reliquify once it returns to room temp.
Fresh Herb Cubes in Olive Oil
Fresh herbs, chopped into ~1-inch pieces
Ice cube tray
Grab your fresh herbs.
Give them a quick rinse under cold water. Dry them well. Pick off any brown bits that look suspect and discard.
Whack them into little pieces, about a half inch to an inch. Don’t make yourself nuts. You just want to be sure they fit in the cubbies in your ice cube tray. For these cubes, I used fresh thyme, chives, and rosemary. Use whatever you like.
If you’re using herbs with a woody stem (like rosemary and some thyme), pull the leaves off the stem and just use those.
Fill each cubby in your ice cube tray about half full with chopped herbs.
It’s just fine if they poke up a little.
I put a mixture of herbs for a few of the cubes.
Fill each cubby with olive oil. On a standard size tray, each cube will comfortably hold about 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Pop them into your freezer. Freeze overnight.
As they freeze, the oil will start to get opaque.
When they’re frozen, they’ll be completely opaque.
When they’re solid, pop them out, and store in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag (to minimize freezer burn on the exposed herbs).
Use as needed. Enjoy!
What will you put in yours?
And what will you use them for? Leave a comment below and let us know!