The groundhog predicted an early spring, and ever since then we can't wait for warmer weather. Sadly, the sun did not get the memo and has not been cooperating. We decided it was time to bring in a little bit of freshness and flavor to lift our spirits. Nothing says spring like fresh, bright herbs. They liven any dish and give a pop of flavor that you just can't get with the dehydrated alternative. Since our herb garden isn't up and running yet, we gathered up all of the herbs we could get our hands on at the supermarket and brought them home with sunshine on the brain.
If you read our recent post about Pistu, Pesto, and Chimichurri, then you probably already have a few good ideas. We won't stop there, though. We wanted to take our love of all things herbacious to another level and prep them for a rainy (or snowy) day in our future.
Preparing fresh herbs can be time consuming, sometimes it might seem easier to just scoop a teaspoon full from the jar. We found a pretty awesome kitchen gadget that takes the time out of fresh herb prep, and a technique that allows you to reap the benefits of fresh herbs all year long. Behold, the RSVP Herb Scissors. These monster scissors are just what you need to get a lot of herb chopping done quickly and efficiently.
These scissors are no joke. Five stainless blades get the work done five times faster. Literally. I lined up my favorite herbs on the cutting board and I got through a pretty intimidating line-up of high maintenance vegetation in minutes.
Voila! Herbs prepped. Now what? Let me direct you to a few of my favorite Traeger Recipes that greatly benefit from the addition of fresh herbs opposed to dehydrated:
Traeger's Homemade Focaccia: The fresh herbs pump this dish up from delicious to better than restaurant quality. There is a step by step tutorial coming for this specific recipe soon!
Beef Tenderloin with Tomato Vinaigrette: Fresh Thyme stars as a delicious addition to the bright vinaigrette added at the last minute.
Herb Roasted Turkey: Bright herbs really punch up the flavor in this traditional turkey. Don't save it just for holidays, Traeger'ed turkey breasts make an amazing weeknight meal and even better sandwiches.
After you have used some of your herbs in these awesome recipes, take whatever you have leftover and save them for future use. With just a few simple steps, you can have that great flavor of fresh herbs any time you want!
Take your chopped herbs and put them directly into an ice cube tray. You can create whatever combinations you like. I did an italian combination of oregano, rosemary, and thyme; a chive and butter combination; and some that were dill only. I recommend only using herbs you plan on cooking with and don't mind having coated in oil or butter. My italian herb cubes will be great as the base for a hearty marinara sauce or under the skin of a Traeger'ed chicken or turkey. My dill cubes will melt beautifully over some Traeger'ed salmon. My chive and butter cubes are going to go directly on some Traeger'ed baked potatoes.
Once your cubes are full of herby goodness, fill them with Olive Oil or melted butter.
Once your cubes are all filled, send them off to the freezer.
After your herb cubes have had some time to chill, pop them out of the tray and into labeled freezer baggies. To make it easier to get your cubes out, run hot water along the back of the tray for a few seconds and they should slide right out.
Now you have the sweet taste of spring and summer available any time you want. Let us know what recipes you love to use fresh herbs for!