Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Herb Butters

Although it is possible to grow herbs all through the winter here it is still useful to try and preserve some for when the weather is bad and I don't want to don wellies and rain mac to make the journey to the herb garden.  The most usual and easiest way to keep herbs is to simply dry them.  You'd think this was easy with the amount of sun that we have but no, nothing is ever quite that that straight forward.

The sun is so fierce that drying stuff is fraught with difficulties - things that are still not dry can be burned to a crisp just an hour later.  So I decided to make some herb butters for putting on cooked veg.  This really is a no brainer when it comes to the difficulty ratings.

Choose your herb.  (I picked some mint and some sage.)  Wash and dry the herb and pick off the leaves.

Chop the leaves very finely.  And mix with softened butter.

Roll the butter into a sausage shape using some greaseproof or parchment paper.

Label and pop it into the freezer.  A slice can be sawn off the frozen butter as and when needed and mixed with potatoes or whatever takes your fancy.  If you are going to use it up fairly quickly you don't need to freeze it, just put it in the door of the fridge to harden up a bit.

Still on the herbs and preserving lark I also put some home grown chillies and basil into extra virgin olive oil.

This is not so much to preserve the herb as to flavour the oil which will be delicious used for salad dressings or drizzled onto cheese and tomato sandwiches or on pizza or... well the list is virtually endless.  One of the jars of oil is also going to be a gift for someone's birthday.  So easy to do and looks really special if you use a nice bottle or jar and decorate it.

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