How often do you follow a recipe that calls for a sprig of rosemary? You head to your local supermarket and pick up a packet (because you can’t buy just 1 sprig) and then throw the rest away. Well, what if you could store those sprigs for the long term?
Can You Freeze Rosemary?
Yes, you can freeze rosemary for up to 4 months. The best approach is to remove the leaves from a sprig of rosemary, chop it up finely, then pack it into an ice cube tray before covering it with oil or butter.
Does Rosemary Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Rosemary? No
How to Freeze Rosemary
Rosemary can be frozen in two ways. You can either freeze whole sprigs or, if you have time, the best option for freezing rosemary is in ice cubes. Both methods have been covered below:
How to Freeze Rosemary Sprigs
If you want to freeze sprigs of rosemary, which can then be thrown in with roast potatoes, vegetables or chicken, then follow this method:
- Flash Freeze
Carefully lay your sprigs on a baking tray and place them in the freezer. Try to keep your tray level.
- Carefully Store
Once the rosemary sprigs have frozen for a few hours, remove the tray. You need to be careful here. Remove the sprigs from the tray and place them in a container. We’d avoid using a bag as there’s a chance the rosemary will get crushed by other dishes.
- Final Freeze
Return to the freezer and then aim to use them up within 3 months.
Now, whenever you need some rosemary for roasting potatoes or other vegetables, you need to head to the freezer and grab a sprig. You can even take a few pieces of rosemary from an individual sprig.
How to Freeze Rosemary in Ice Cubes
When it comes to freezing herbs, you must consider how to use them. If you like throwing a sprinkling of rosemary into stews or pasta sauces, this method will be perfect for you.
Time needed: 10 minutes
This is my preferred method for freezing rosemary
- Prepare Rosemary
First, you need to prepare your herbs. Finely dice the rosemary (how you’d normally use it). With this method, we find that the finer you get it, the better. Why not try using a mezzaluna?
- Fill Ice Cube Tray
Take your ice cube tray and pack the rosemary into each slot. You want each cube to be between half and two-thirds full.
- Top with Olive Oil
Grab some good quality olive oil and cover the herbs with olive oil. You don’t need to fill the cubes – leave a small gap at the top.
- Flash Freeze
Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Give them a good 6 to 12 hours (or overnight).
- Final Freeze
Once frozen solid, remove the tray and the herb cubes. You can now place these in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
When you want to add a rosemary hit to your dish, you can grab a cube and throw it in the pot. That’s all there is to it.
Rosemary water (or any herb-infused water) can be frozen. Find a container that’s a suitable size and decant before sealing and freezing. Do not freeze the rosemary water in the glass bottle it came in.
How Long Can You Freeze Rosemary?
Rosemary will last in the freezer for around a year. There is a small chance that the flavour will degrade slightly over time. That’s why it’s better to use it within 3 to 4 months.
Although beyond this 3 to 4 month it will remain perfectly safe to eat, you may find that it adds little-to-no actual rosemary flavour to your dish so there’s not much point in using it.
If you wrap the ends of the rosemary sprigs in a damp kitchen towel to keep them hydrated, they will keep in the fridge for around 10 days.
How Do You Defrost Rosemary?
The great news is that you don’t need to – and that’s for either method above.
If you’re throwing the rosemary into a stew, soup or sauce, take it straight from the freezer and place it in the pan with your other ingredients.
You don’t need to leave it in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to defrost it in warm water gently. Just use it as and when you need it directly from the freezer.
Can You Refreeze Rosemary?
Where possible, we would avoid refreezing rosemary as it can begin to lose its fragrant flavour and smell rapidly.
The only exception is if you have used frozen rosemary in a dish you want to go on and freeze, such as a pasta sauce.
Does Rosemary Freeze Well?
Nothing can beat fresh herbs from your own plant in the garden. But when you’re cooking rosemary as part of a sauce base, you’ll be hard pushed to tell the difference between fresh and frozen.
Fortunately, most woody/hard herbs will freeze well and retain their flavour well.
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