Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Preserving Garden Herbs - Conservare le Erbe del Giardino

What makes those summer dishes flavorful are the fresh garden herbs. To relish those flavors all year long, I preserve my garden herbs.

All photos - Copyright - ©2011 - La Casa e Il Giardino – picasaweb

We cultivate these culinary herbs: sage, rosemary and mint.  In mid summer, I pick them at their peak and hang to air dry in a warm dry place until they are crunchy to the touch.  I then place each dried herb in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

How can my leg of lamb or pheasant dish be flavorful without the rosemary?
How can the string beans, pasta maritata and zucchini fritters taste spring-like without mint?


Basilico sott'olio
Basil can be preserved two ways - dry and in oil. I prefer the oil method. 

Remove the basil leaves from the stalks, wash them, dry them with a cloth and leave for a few minutes stretched out to dry. To keep the basil in oil take a glass jar with a wide opening and fill it completely with dry basil leaves, spreading and overlapping them well. Add olive oil, pressing the leaves so that they remain under the thread of the oil. Close the jar and keep in the refrigerator.  Basil kept in oil retains much of its fragrance. Use basil to make savory sauces and on baked fish.

  Celery Leaves

Celery is not just for salads but great to spice up foods.  Celery leaves from our garden are worthwhile leaves with intense flavor that fall somewhere in the scent category between cilantro and parsley.
Like basil, wash the celery leaves, dry them with a towel and leave for a few minutes stretched out to dry. 

Place the dry celery in a zip-lock bag and freeze. 

Celery is excellent with zucchini and potatoes, baccala', chicken soup and a must in bird stuffing.

Buon Appetito!