Preserving Herbs in Sugar

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I first learned about making herbal sugars from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess. My initial experiment was with rosemary, and after that I was hooked. I now use herbal sugars all the time, but in very small quantities. I like to add a teaspoon or so to batches of homemade tomato sauce, as well as meat stews. I’ve also made basil sugar, and I use it in much the same way. If you want to get really creative, mix basil and rosemary to make a combination herbal sugar.

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Pictured: Rosemary basil sugar

Other herbs to consider are mint, thyme and sage. Adding a vanilla bean to a jar of sugar is also a great idea. For a subtle herbal touch, you can add just a few sprigs of your preferred herb to a jar containing 2-4 cups of sugar (I recommend using organic sugar).

If you are looking for a stronger herbal flavor, you can use more of the herbs, and bruise and chop them before adding to the sugar. These sugars last for a long time, especially if you are only using them sparingly in your cooking. Store them in a cool, dark cupboard and they should last for a year or more.

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Pictured: Lavender sugar

Sugars made with sweet herbs and edible flowers are also lovely. Try using finely chopped lavender leaves, for example. Like a vanilla sugar, I think it will be nice in tea, or perhaps I will use it to flavor winter porridge or mix it into plain yogurt. You could also use lavender sugar for dusting sugar cookies, to give an elegant herbal touch.

Photo Credits: Winnie Abramson

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