Garlic Scape and Herb Compound Butter

June 23rd, 2010

garlic scapes

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but not melted
2-3 garlic scapes, minced
small handful dill, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary savory, or any combination of leaves minced
sea salt and fresh black pepper
~ Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Adjust
seasoning to your liking. Store in your fridge for later use on items such as Bread, steaks, potatoes, or grilled veggies.

adapted from recipe at taitfarmfoods.com

How to dry Herbs

June 15th, 2010

Air drying herbs is not only the easiest and least expensive way to dry fresh herbs, but this slow drying process also doesn’t deplete the herbs of their oils. This process works best with herbs that don’t have a high moisture content, like Bay, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Summer Savory and Thyme. Moisture dense herbs, like Basil, Chives, Mint, Tarragon preserve better in a dehydrator, or try freezing them. Use a microwave or oven to dry herbs only as a last resort. These actually cook the herbs to a degree, diminishing the oil content and flavor.

How To Dry Herbs

  1. Cut healthy branches from your herb plants.
  2. Remove any dry or diseased leaves
  3. Shake gently to remove any insects.
  4. If necessary, rinse with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Wet herbs will mold and rot.
  5. Remove the lower leaves along the bottom inch or so of the branch.
  6. Bundle 4 – 6 branches together and tie as a bunch. You can use string or a rubber band. The bundles will shrink as they dry and the rubber band will loosen, so check periodically that the bundle is not slipping. Make small bundles if you are trying to dry herbs with high water content.
  7. Punch or cut several holes in a paper bag. Label the bag with the name of the herb you are drying.
  8. Place the herb bundle upside down into the bag.
  9. Gather the ends of the bag around the bundle and tie closed. Make sure the herbs are not crowded inside the bag.
  10. Hang the bag upside down in a warm, airy room.
  11. Check in about two weeks to see how things are progressing. Keep checking weekly until your herbs are dry and ready to store.

Storing Dried Herbs

  1. Store your dried herbs in air tight containers. Zip closing bags will do. I like to use small canning jars.
  2. Be sure to label and date your containers.
  3. Your herbs will retain more flavor if you store the leaves whole and crush them when you are ready to use them.
  4. Discard any dried herbs that show the slightest sign of mold.
  5. Place containers in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
  6. Dried herbs are best used within a year. As your herbs lose their color, they are also losing their flavor.
  7. Use about 1 teaspoon crumbled dried leaves in place of a tablespoon of fresh

How To Freeze Herbs

June 15th, 2010

If you have an abundance of  herbs you can freeze them so that you can use them year round. Freezing herbs is fast and easy to do.

When storing fresh herbs in your freezer, it is best to first chop the herbs as you would if you were going to cook with them today. This will make using them later easier. Keep in mind when freezing herbs, that while they keep their flavor, they will not retain their color or looks and so will not be suitable for dishes where online casino the herbs appearance is important.

The next step in how to freeze fresh herbs is to spread the chopped herbs on a metal cookie tray and place the tray in the freezer. This will ensure that the herbs freeze quickly and will not freeze together in a large clump. Alternatively, when preparing for storing fresh herbs in the freezer, you can measure out typical measurements, like a tablespoon, of the chopped herbs into ice cube trays and then fill the trays the remaining way with water. This is a good way how to keep cut herbs if you plan on using them frequently in soups, stews and marinades where the water will not affect the outcome of the dish.

Once the herbs are frozen, you can transfer them into a plastic freezer bag. When storing fresh herbs like this, they can stay in your freezer for up to 12 months.

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