Not really sure what to call these…I’m sure there’s a name for them…little flavored pestos, citrus zest cubes, citrus juice…yummy goodness to toss into pasta, top roasted vegetables, season fish, slather meat, throw into smoothies, and add into whatever is your favorite food for the day. I’m not a trained chef or cook, or a trained anything, really. So for now, I don’t have a name for them until one of you can tell me what to really call them. If you can give me a great and unique name for them, then that is what I will call them forevermore.
So, as I was making a batch of pesto the other day, I thought, “Now why couldn’t I do this with all kinds of things? Herbs, fruit, juice, roasted garlic? The things I like to cook with on a regular basis. But in smaller batches, so I could just pop one out of the freezer and toss it in a pan or defrost it quickly to season a beautiful piece of meat or flavor my favorite Clementine Cookies?” There’s no reason why not!
I love freezing little servings of things. People with food allergies need to be a little more organized in that area if they want the convenience of having something fresh and homemade to eat on a whim. I freeze small servings of soups, lasagna, whatever we’re having that allows a little leftover, usually. It’s nice to be able to grab something delicious when my husband is traveling and I don’t feel like cooking, or heaven forbid, if I’m sick with something that only allows me to make it to the freezer, microwave, and back to bed. It’s also nice to have fresh herbs on hand at all times, and if you buy organic, you know they don’t last long. I try very hard to steer clear of sprinkling my food with fresh herb pesticides so this is turning out to be a really great way to have “fresh” herbs on hand all the time.
I can’t wait until summer when I have pots and pots full of plump, fresh, herbs to whiz together and stash away in the freezer for winter!
You Will Need:
Organic Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Seafood Herbs
About 5 Heads of Organic Garlic
Citrus of Your Choice, I Used Clementines
Juice of Your Choice, I Used Pomegranate
Ice Cube Trays
Fine Point Permanent Marker
Start off with all of your favorite herbs. Remove the woody ends and check for soil that was left behind. I didn’t remove the rosemary leaves from the stems for the pictures, you will want to do that before you put them in your food processor.
Next, label the herb piles and grab a piece of paper. Make a list of which herbs are in each pile. For Example: 1. Poultry – rosemary, sage, thyme, and olive oil, 2. Clementine Zest…etc. Once you begin to grind up the herbs and olive oil, you will mark each ice-cube tray so that it correlates with your list of ingredients.
This is incredibly easy. I think I did the entire pile of herbs, including photography and clean up in an hour. An extra bonus was that my house smelled fantastic when I was done.
Here’s what you do:
1. Place the herbs in the food processor. Whiz them up until they are small bits.
2. While the processor is running, add a small amount of olive oil…maybe a teaspoon or two at the most,
to bring the mixture together a bit.
3. With a small spoon, add the herb mixture to the ice trays. Label with the corresponding number on your paper.
Below are the herbs, garlic, zest, and juices that I used.
Dill, Parsley, and Thyme
Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme
Oregano, Sage, Tarragon, and Thyme
Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme
Rosemary and Lemon Thyme
For the roasted garlic you will need about 5 heads of garlic, tin foil, olive oil, sea salt, and a sprinkle of herbs. Slice the tops off the garlic heads with a sharp knife, remove any loose paper. Place on a layer of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil, herbs, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place another piece of tin foil over the top and wrap them up tightly. Roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. When they are easily squeezed out of their skin, they are done.
Allow them to cool and then squeeze them out of their skins. Pack them into the ice-cube tray.
The zest and juices are incredibly easy…pretty much a no brainer.
Once everything is in the ice-cube trays and labeled, cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
Once they’ve sat overnight, loosen them by twisting the trays just like you would for ice cubes. Using a fork, carefully loosen each one and place it in a small plastic freezer bag and pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Remember to label the bag and pay attention to which ones you’re removing!