How and Why to Make Herbed Olive Oil Cubes

Leonardo Olive Oil November 30, 2015 Cooking with Olive Oil 2868 Views

It’s pretty commonplace to use the freezer to preserve all sorts of food and ingredients for long periods of time, be it sauces, veggies, soups etc. But how do you go about preserving those special, fresh herbs to make them last longer? How about freezing them in olive oil?

Yes, you heard that right. Here’s all you need to know about making herbed olive oil cubes.

Why preserve herbs in olive oil?

  • It helps avoiding herb browning and freezer burns.
  • It’s a nifty, non-messy solution to cooking dishes that are olive oil and herb based like roasts, stews, sautés etc.
  • The oil soaks in the aroma of the herbs, which is an added bonus!

Which herbs should be frozen in olive oil?

  • It’s best if you freeze “hard herbs” such as Oregano, Thyme, Sage and Rosemary.
  • Soft herbs like Mint and Basil are more often than not added raw to dishes and are too delicate to preserve by freezing. These should simply be preserved in little zip lock bags.

Related: Infusing Olive Oil

What is the process of freezing herbs in olive oil?

  • Chop the herbs finely and fill up each of the wells of the ice cube tray up to 2/3rd of their height.
  • Pour olive oil, preferably Extra Virgin olive oil, to fill them up.
  • Cover the tray with cling film wrap and freeze.
  • You can even combine certain herbs if you’re looking to achieve a particular flavour.
  • Freeze the tray/s overnight.
  • The next day, transfer the cubes into carefully labelled zip lock bags so the aroma doesn’t interfere with any other frozen foods.

How are herbed olive oil cubes used to cook?

Herbed olive oil cubes can be a great way to kick off preparation for olive oil and hard herb based dishes that need to be roasted, sautéed, or even stewed. All you need to do is defrost them for a couple of minutes and use accordingly.

Especially with Indian Cooking, where a large number of dishes start with onions and garlic, you can mix them up in this herb-infused olive oil so that the taste of herbs spread throughout your whole dish. Also, since it’s Extra Virgin olive oil, you can even drop a cube or two into your favourite salad for some fanciful flavour. Now that’s progressive cooking right there!

Related: Going beyond extra olive oil

Herbed olive oil cubes can be kept frozen for up to two seasons, so one day of fun filled effort can give you many happy days. Jolly cooking, dear readers!