Your herb harvest has been excellent, even surprising. You’ve used them in salads, discovered tabbouleh, and made unusual cocktails. You’ve even made pesto for the whole year to come, but you still have a lot of herbs on hand and production is not finished. So here are some ideas for using your herbs in other ways:
1. Infuse your oils
Wash and dry your herbs before adding them to a neutral oil such as canola, sunflower or grapeseed oil. Bake at 150 ˚C (300 ˚F) for 2 hours. Let cool for 30 minutes before straining through a coffee filter or paper towel. Be aware that you need a good amount of herbs for the taste to be noticeable. You can also combine 2 to 3 flavours, such as :
- Rosemary, garlic and lemon zest
- Basil, French shallot and walnuts
- Cilantro, garlic and Jalapeno peppers
You can keep your flavoured oils up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Use them on your pizzas, in your salads or simply dip a nice warm bread in them.
2. Flavour your butter
What better way to enhance the flavour of your dishes. Simply let your butter soften before adding fresh herbs of your choice that you have chopped up beforehand. Here are two great recipes to consider:
- Mix equal parts basil and chives, adding a little pepper and lemon juice. You can use this butter to coat a salmon filet before cooking it.
- Thyme and rosemary also work well together. Add a little sea salt and you’re done! You can put a small piece on a steak before serving it. Yum, yum!
Wrapped in plastic wrap, the flavoured butter can be stored for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. It can also be cut into portions and placed in the freezer. It will then keep for about 1 month.
3. Add freshness to your drawers
We all know the little sachets of lavender or rose petals that we insert through our clothes, but why not use fresh herbs for the tablecloth and napkin drawer. They will scent your table at a dinner party. Use a small cotton or linen pouch that will let the scent through and fill it with dried herbs to your taste. Try thyme and/or rosemary to add a Provencal touch.
4. Embellish your table
Add a centerpiece
Instead of adorning your table with a bouquet of cut flowers, why not make a beautiful assortment of fresh herbs? Not only will your centerpiece look beautiful and different, but it will also smell delicious in your room.
Decorate your glasses and napkins
Place a few leaves or branches on your napkins as a decoration guide. Use a jute rope to form pretty bouquets. The herbs will leave a pleasant scent and the table will be all the more beautiful. You could also identify the name of each of your guests on small cards and hang them on their glass with a pretty branch of rosemary braid. Your guests will be charmed!
5. Make an unusual gift wrap
The trend is to go green! Instead of wrapping your gift in traditional wrapping paper, opt for the alternative of brown paper and decorate it with a ribbon in which you will slip a small branch of your favorite fine herb. It’s fresh, it’s beautiful and it’s green! You can’t go wrong.
There is no reason to lose any of your fresh herbs, be creative! Discover other ways to preserve your fresh herbs right here: https://www.fafard.ca/gardening-tips/vegetable-garden/how-to-store-your-herbs/