I just absolutely love using fresh herbs when cooking. To me, there is really nothing that tastes more like summer than that earthy freshness. My mom is a master with using up all of the herbs that she grows. She makes pesto, various herb salts, and herb butters. All are delicious, but unfortunately my husband is the aforementioned health nut and salt and butter are big no-nos with him. So I found a healthier way to use olive oil to preserve my yummy fresh herbs. I especially love rosemary because I absolutely love the flavor that it adds to the chicken soup that I make frequently throughout the winter, but any fresh herb will work.
Can You Freeze Olive Oil
Olive oil actually lasts well for up to 2 years if stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place. However, it also freezes well and can be a wonderfully easy and healthful way to preserve fresh herbs. Olive oil will naturally absorb and preserve those fresh summer flavors of the herbs.
How To Freeze Olive Oil
Freezing olive oil as a method of preserving fresh herbs is an absolute snap. Simply cut the herbs from your garden or purchase some fresh from the market. You can either chop up the herbs or leave them as whole leaves. I vary this depending on how I intend to use them later. For instance, back to my chicken soup, I leave the rosemary as whole leaves because I just love seeing them almost as a vegetable in the soup. If I am preserving a mix of basils for later use as a dip for bread, I will finely chop the leaves.
Once the herbs are prepared, I simply add them to the bottom of each spot in an ice cube tray and cover with a good quality olive oil. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and pop into the freezer. Once the “cubes” have set, I remove them and place them in freezer safe bags. Remember to label with the date and type of herb used.
How To Thaw Olive Oil
Now cooking throughout the year can have the added flavor of summer with the fresh taste of summer herbs and the added health benefits of olive oil. Simply pop a cube or two out of the freezer and flavor away with all of the health benefits of olive oil-no thawing required.