Ice-cube trays make fantastic mortars for leftover fruits, herbs and more.




Skill level

Average: 5 (5 votes)


  • Leftover herbs, fruit, stock or coffee

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You can use up leftover herbs by picking them and placing them into ice-cube trays, then covering them in olive oil. Put them in the freezer, and each time you use oil for cooking, pop out a cube and use that in its place for some herb-infused oil.

For leftover fruit, simply spread individual berries, such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, into the trays with a sprig of mint, if you like, and top up with water. They look lovely in a jug of water or a glass of freshly squeezed juice. Fruit that’s a little past its use-by date is perfect blitzed in a food processor, frozen in ice-cube trays and then used in a glass of soda water for some extra flavour.

Leftover stock or broth can be frozen in ice-cube trays and added to soups and stews – or even popped into your morning smoothies for some added protein.

Make herbs or garlic butter by mixing excess butter with chopped herbs and seasoning and placing into the ice-cube trays for use at a later date.

If you have any leftover coffee in your cafetière, pour it into an ice-cube tray and freeze. Simply pop out the cubes into a tall glass with milk for an iced coffee – perfect for a summer’s day.


Recipe and photograph from The Art of the Natural Home by Rebecca Sullivan (Kyle Books, $39.99). Find more recipes from the book here