Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to Dry Fresh Herbs

A few weeks ago I shared my experience with growing fresh herbs (here). Well, why not dry some fresh herbs too?

At the end of June, I came home from a bachelorette party to find a gallon ziploc bag of fresh herbs on my counter. Oregano, to be exact. I turned to J and said, "What the heck do I do with this?!" Uh, you dry it Trace. Right. Let's blame that on the late night.

Fresh herbs tend to grow in such abundance it's hard to keep up with them! So I was happy to take some off my in-laws hands. I had a fairly good idea of what I needed to do to dry the oregano but a google search never hurts. I used this site for reference.

You'll need a paper bag or two and twine to air out the herbs. Note that this method is good for oregano, but not great for a high moisture herb like basil.

After making sure the herbs were clean, I tied bunches of 4-6 branches together with the twine. 

I ended up with 5 bunches which I split up between two paper bags so that none were touching. I poked holes on the 4 sides of each bag for extra ventilation and then stuck the bags in our office for a couple weeks to dry. Forget they're there (kinda like I did), and let them completely dry out.

After a couple weeks they should look like this.

After removing the dried leaves from the branches I quickly realized I needed to add a step in. The dried leaves were just too big to be used a seasoning.

A quick turn through the Magic Bullet certainly did the trick.

I picked these spice jars up during a recent visit to the Crate & Barrel Outlet. A real steal at $2.

And viola! Enough fresh dried oregano to last the year. And I just love that it came from a local garden.

I think I'm going to need to check out the process for drying out basil next. It seems to grow like weeds so why not save some of it for the off season?

Question: Have you grown any herbs this summer? What's your favorite recipe to use fresh herbs in? I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of caprese salad with fresh basil. 

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  1. let me know if you find something for basil, its growing like a weed!

    1. I read that you should freeze basil! I believe Joe does that with the oregano even.


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