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Herbacious Elixers

This year I planted an herb garden off the back of my deck. Herbs are beautiful ornamentals because of the variety of leaf shapes and plant architecture. Plus, they’re useful! Over the last two months, my little garden has THRIVED. What began as a few little starts here and there has become a lush, exploding border of greenery.

I’m channeling all my creativity into finding new ways of preserving them so that my winter can be filled with the scents of summer.

Infusing with herbs is a great way to capture their oils. Here are a few infusions I’ve come up with:

Preserved in oil:

Infused oils add a subtle zip to a familiar dish.

What I’m doing:

Olive oil infused with oregano and thyme to use in Med. dishes.

Olive oil infused with basil for late summer caprese salad and winter pizzas.

Marjoram infused walnut oil for a rich, simple vinegrette: all I’ll need to add is a little lemon juice.

 

Preserved in syrup:

Simple syrup is a secret ingredient in well-stocked kitchens for use in cold drinks, a simple glaze on cakes or a substitute for syrup on pancakes.

What I’m doing:

A one-to-one ratio of sugar and water with each of the following:

Orange mint, peppermint, lavender and thyme

 

Preserved in alcohol:

Infused alcohols are easy to make and a great DIY way to spice up your evening aperitif.

What I’m doing:

Vodka infused with tangerine sage and pineapple sage.

 

What are your favorite clever ways to preserve herbs for use in the winter months?