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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Preserving and Freezing Dill for Winter

 I love fresh dill. I like it mixed into yogurt or cream cheese to spread on bread, and I love it in my Breakfast Veggie Omelettes

Come winter, though, and fresh dill is harder to find and more expensive. Yes, I could buy it at the grocery store, but where we are in Madison, WI, a small package of fresh dill can cost $3 AND it comes all the way from Michigan!!  

Right now I can get lovely bunches of fresh dill at the farmers market for $1. So in the spirit of being frugal and supporting local farmers, I'll be preserving a few bunches of it for the winter months.  Here's how I'm doing it...

Now there are a few different ways  to preserve dill, and most other herbs.  Of course you could hang them to dry, or dehydrate them in a food dehydrator and that's perfectly fine if you want dried dill.  If you want to go that method, you can check out this post that Summers Acres shared on the Waste Not Want Not Wednesday party last week for making your own drying rack.

But let's face it, fresh dill has a much stronger flavour, and I love that little touch of freshness in the middle of winter.  

I realize that many of you probably already know how to do this, but for those who are wondering the best way to freeze dill, this is how I do it.  

How to Freeze Dill

First I wash my bunches of dill thoroughly and dry them. I like to do this in my salad spinner. I just lay the whole bunch down as is - it'll make it easier to pick out the thicker stems afterwards. 

I fill it with water, and give it a good swish, drain, rinse and repeat. Give it a very good spin to dry it off.

Inside the spinner, a thorough rinsing, several good spins, then left a few minutes to dry

Then I cut off the thicker stems and pick out the leafier bits and chop the fronds into roughly 1/4" long bits. 

Then I loosely pack it into a freezer container, like an old plastic yogurt or cheese container or a mason jar.  Then pop it into the freezer! 

When I want some, I just use a fork to scrap off a bit (a little bit goes a long way!).  

This keeps for several months in the freezer. I usually use it up before it goes bad, so I can't say for sure how long it will last. 

Do you preserve dill or other herbs for the winter?

Dill, packed into an old bocconcini cheese container :)

This post was shared on the following great link parties: Creative Home and Garden Hop, Musings of a Housewife, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Hop, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, 

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