There are few things more delicious than fresh, ripe, straight-off-the-stem herbs. From fragrant basil to punchy parsley to earthy marjoram, fresh herbs bring brightness to whatever dish they’re added to. Plus, they’re versatile: whether you’re using them as a garnish (as is often the case with parsley or cilantro), to add flavour to pickled vegetables (dill, anyone?) or making them the star of your main course (pesto alla Genovese simply wouldn’t exist without basil), herbs are undisputed mealtime heroes.
With your Vegehome Jardin or Oasis, you’ll be able to grow fresh herbs year-round, allowing you to enjoy the fresh, delicious herbs no matter the weather. But even though your countertop herbs have no growing season, you may find that, as summer turns to fall, you’re looking to try out some traditional harvest-season activities in your kitchen, like preserving. And while delicate herbs don’t stand up well to traditional pressure canning, salt-preserving — a method that involves, quite simply, packing fresh herbs and salt into clean, glass jars — is a great way to extend the life of your fresh herbs, and to make some incredible, herb-infused salts as well! Plus, salt-preserved herbs are a great way to share your Vegehome bounty with friends and family members.
Here are two ways to make salt-infused herbs of your own at home:
Method 1: Pack and layer
- Thoroughly wash and dry your herbs.
- Wash and sterilize a 16 ounce (500 mL) glass mason jar and its lid. To sterilize the jar, you will need to submerge it in boiling water for at least ten minutes, then remove it carefully using waterproof and heat-proof kitchen gloves (like ones made of silicone), or with tongs. Set the jar aside, and dry it once it has cooled enough to safely touch it.
- Remove stems from your herbs.
- Cover the bottom of your mason jar with about a half an inch of salt. Place a layer of herbs on top of the salt.
- Sprinkle about one tablespoon of salt on top of the herbs, then add another layer of herbs. Continue alternating between salt and herbs until your jar is full. You’ll want to pack the jar as tightly as you can.
- Seal the jar tightly, and put it in your fridge overnight.
- The next day, you will notice that the herbs and salt have settled. To top up the jar again, alternate with more fresh herbs and salt until the jar is once again full to the top.
- Store your salt-preserved herbs in the fridge for up to a year. To use, rinse your herbs when you remove them from the jar, and remember to adjust the salt content of any recipes you will be using your salt-preserved herbs in, as they will have absorbed salt during the preservation process.
Method 2: Grind ‘em up
- Measure one part herbs to four parts salt.
- Wash and thoroughly dry your herbs, and remove their stems.
- Add your herbs and salt to a blender or food processor, and blend until they’re mixed well.
- Place the salt and herb mixture on a kitchen towel or paper towel, and allow the mixture to dry overnight.
- Seal the mixture in a clean glass jar (sterilized using the steps in Method 1), and refrigerate. Your herb-salt blend will last for up to a year. Use this herb-infused salt in breads or other savoury baked goods, to flavour pasta sauces, soups or stews, or simply sprinkled on top of bread and butter.