Nothing comes close to using fresh herbs in cooking. The mere idea of my basil dying soon sends me into a panic. I love cooking with fresh herbs … and wine. Dried herbs just don’t cut it for me. You lose a lot of flavour in your cooking when herbs are not fresh. Some herbs like basil and parsley just don’t have any flavour when dried. They even lose their flavour with prolonged cooking and should be added just before you serve a dish. Here are some ways to preserve summer herbs for winter without compromising the fresh garden taste.

  • Make ice blocks – Chop up your herbs, place them in an ice block container. Add a bit of luke-warm water and leave them in the deep fridge to solidify. Decanter the frozen blocks into a plastic bag or other container and return them to the deep fridge. Use the ice blocks in your cooking as needed without compromising the taste.
  • Make Pesto – Pesto is an easy way to preserve your herbs. You can do a combination of herbs like Basil and Chives or you could also just make a pure pesto. Place the herbs that you want to use for your pesto in a bowl. Add some olive oil and use a liquidiser to puree the mixture. Add a bit of salt. Salt is also a preservative. Decanter into useable size containers and top these containers with olive oil. Store in a cool place like the vegetable drawer in your fridge.
  • Make herb butter – Chop up the herbs of your choice, melt some butter and pour it over the herbs. Decanter in suitable containers and store them in the fridge.

These are easy ways to ensure that you can still have your favorite herbal tastes in your dishes during winter. Don’t panic – you can still have it all.


To make a small batch of pesto, use these quantities:

  • 4 cups (85 g) loosely packed basil
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand, see notes)
  • 1/2 cup (57 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 16 cups (320 g) basil
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 to 3.5 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand, see notes)
  • 2 cups (215 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts (optional)
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil


Combine basil, garlic, lemon, 3 teaspoons of the salt, and the cheese in a food processor. Pulse to combine—you may have to pulse in batches. Add the oil and purée to combine. Taste. Adjust with more salt, lemon or oil to taste. Store in fridge or transfer to ice cube trays and freeze; then transfer to a ziplock bag and store in freezer.

For more on this lovely recipe, please view

Join us this week Friday for our FREE online workshop on Culinary Herbs with Garden Guru Sue Both. This week’s prize will once again be sponsored by Mango Moon.

Please use the following login details to join us at 11am sharp over Zoom:
Meeting ID: 880 9490 0279 | Passcode: 806953 or use the following direct link: