How Do You Dry Fresh Herbs?

May 30, 2013 1:31 pm

Preserve your herb garden bounty for later use

how do you dry fresh herbs?
Photo: rayb777 on Flickr
Dry that fresh thyme and never buy bottled again.
 

If you have the space (and it doesn't take much), you should definitely be growing fresh herbs outside, even in the city. They're hardy survivors, especially the tougher ones like rosemary and thyme, and simply need water and occasional harvesting to keep providing you with flavorful, healthy ingredients. Dry and store part of your yield so you can say "I grew the sage for these potato galettes myself" well into the winter.

Some delicate herbs, like chives, basil and cilantro, can't really be dried. Most of their flavor is contained in moisture, unlike sturdier thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano, which have more concentrated essential oils that won't evaporate away. Snip the herbs in big bunches and tie the base with string or butcher's twine to keep the bunch together. Hang upside down by a windowsill with a newspaper underneath to catch anything that falls and leave alone until completely dry. 

Spread out more newspaper over a table and pick the leaves off the stems by hand, then store in an airtight glass container until ready to use — plastic will absorb those precious oils you just worked so hard to preserve. Bonus: your hands will smell nice.

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