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Many ancient techniques can be used in the preservation and easy use of fine herbs.

The simplest short-term method to preserve herbs to be eaten fresh is to place the stems in water, like cut flowers, cover them with a piece of plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. By this method, they keep for a few days. However, to preserve them longer, more elaborate techniques must be employed to trap their flavors and properties.

Be they fresh, dried, frozen or salted herbs, always add them towards the end of cooking process, as heat destroys the essential oils. It is recommended to remove bunches and stems just prior to serving.

Salting - salted herbs

Salting is an ancient food preservation method. By its dehydrating effect on vegetables, salt absorbs enough water to prevent decay. Salinity also interrupts the growth of certain mushrooms and bacteria.

One or more types can be salted in the same preparation. Salted herbs can replace regular salt, particularly in salad dressings, soups and pasta.

  1. Wash the herbs and dry with a paper towel
  2. Chop them finely
  3. Mix the herbs thoroughly with coarse salt
  4. Place the mixture in a container without tamping
  5. Refrigerate

Mix ideas

  • Mix chives, parsley and savory to add when boiling potatoes.
  • Placed in a herbal tea ball salted basil, and dropped in with cooking pasta.

Preservation oil, butter or vinegar

Flavoured oils, butter and vinegars are a pleasant substitute to simple herbs in numerous recipes.

Herb oils

Herbs used to flavour oils must be delicately ground to free up their flavours. Quantities vary according to taste. Heating the oils is of no use. The oils must always be fresh, extra-virgin and cold pressed. Freeze to keep for a longer period.

  1. Wash the herbs and dry with a paper towel
  2. Chop them finely
  3. Fill a glass jar with the mixed herbs
  4. Add oil until completely covered
  5. Hermetically seal the bottle
  6. Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks.

Herb butter

For large quantity, use a robot. Fresh herb butter can be kept in the refrigerator for about 1 month. If frozen. thaw 15 minutes at room temperature before use.

  1. Wash the herbs and dry with a paper towel
  2. Chop them finely
  3. Soften the butter
  4. Blend fresh herbs
  5. Make portion
  6. Refrigerate or freeze

Herb vinegar

Wine, malt, rice or cider vinegars give good results. Flavoured vinegar will keep for several years.

  1. Wash the herbs and dry with a paper towel
  2. Chop them finely
  3. Fill a glass jar with the mixed herbs
  4. Bring the vinegar to a boil
  5. Pour over fresh herbs
  6. Let the mixture macerate for two weeks, stirring occasionally
  7. Filter the liquid into a bottle.