Well, I turn to my trusty farm-aid food processor. Truly a terrific gift of modern technology - I never owned one until I grew basil and wanted to convert mountains of the robust leaves into pesto to freeze for the winter. The tool is indispensable for the spring local food kitchen.
This month I'm blitzing my herbs almost daily to make into pastes that I can add to desserts, cheese spreads, jams and butters. It couldn't be easier and the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to making up recipes. The basic idea is to fill the processor bowl with leaves, add some sort of glue-ish substance like sugar, olive oil, shredded cheese or honey, and pulse until you've got your paste. The great thing is, when you are using a food processor, you can use a lot of the stem of the herbs - right up to where it becomes woody - since it's all getting ground up and has the same flavor as the leaves.
Here I've got oregano. I've pulsed it with spring garlic and scapes and added it to goat cheese, below. Thanks very much Bessie and Mochi, my sweet milking does!
I did another oregano blitz (I do have a lot of oregano at the moment) with a very hard parmesan cheese. I froze it in little baggies to use in pastas later.
Chocolate mint is one of my favorite flavors, but that mint absolutely has to be cut constantly if it's to be kept from flowering. So I've been making paste with sugar in the blender and using it in coffee, cakes, brownies, shortbreads, icings and cocktails. See this recipe from a former blog post for Boozy Mint Brownies. Lemon Balm is also good blitzed with sugar or honey and saved to add to jam or scones or tea.
Store your pastes in the fridge if you will use the in a week or so (oil and sugar are both good preservatives) or in the freezer if you want access to herbs late in the season or through winter. Bon appetit!