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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Making the most of your Herbs

Throughout the summer I have been hanging and drying my most favourite herbs from the roof of my conservatory. There is Lavender,


..... and sage.....


.........and Lovage seed heads in paper bags to catch the seeds as they fall.


Once the herbs are dry I rub them to flakes and put them into containers ready for using in the depth of winter. The lavender is for lavender bags and sleep pillows. For most of my herbs this has been very successful.


However, the tarragon I hung up to dry has gone totally brown ..........


..............and doesn't actually smell of anything. That's no good. So I had to try an alternative way of preserving that wonderful tarragon flavour.


I made a tarragon butter. A large handful of fresh tarragon is washed and shaken dry and then the leaves removed.


I then chopped the leaves fairly finely and added them to a pack of unsalted butter which I left out of the fridge until it became soft.


I then added the zest of half an orange and about two tablespoons of the juice.


A few minutes stirring to combine it all





before scraping the butter into the middle of some greaseproof paper.


.....folding and rolling the greaseproof paper ...........



to make a cylinder of herbed butter...


... which is labelled and then popped into the freezer.


Once frozen, I can saw off a slice whenever it is needed. Great when added to cooked vegetables or even on chops or chicken prior to grilling. I hate waste so I freeze the stalks of the tarragon in a little plastic bag too. They will add flavour to soups and stocks.

3 comments:

  1. I LOVE your idea about the butter roll - AWESOME! Just a note for next year, Tarragon is one of those herbs that needs to be dehydrated, and even so it does lose flavor.
    :-) Sandy

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  2. How lovely to hear from you Sandy I hope you are well. d'oh! I should have known I could have asked you about the herb drying. I can be a little dense at times. Tx for the tip. Jane.

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  3. Great idea to make a herb butter and freeze it.

    This is the first year I have tried drying herbs, I've been pleasantly surprised by how simple it is! I only have rosemary, sage and lavender growing (these are all I have dried), and I'm very excited about getting a little herb garden started up next year.

    I'm also rather excited about a jar of sugar that I have mixed some dried lavendar flowers into - looking forward to making some shortbread with it, it smells lovely!

    I'm curious about lovage - I've not come across it before *off to Google it * :)

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