Even though it's winter in most places around the country and our gardens aren't quite up yet, we wanted to let you know about this easy technique to dry fresh herbs. It's a great way to store unused portions or dry up a small amount for an extra-tasty spice rub!
What You Need
Paper Towel/Paper Plate (optional)
1. Wash Herbs: Herbs with thick stems work best for this method, though any will suffice. Rinse and spin out in a salad spinner to eliminate any remaining water (or wash and dry each leaf by hand). Place on a towel to catch any extra water that's still hanging on.
2. De-Stem Leaves: Since the goal of dehydration is to remove all the water stored inside the plant, removing the leaves not only allows extra evaporation points, but allows for even drying.
3. Heat Herbs: Place herbs on a paper towel on a plate, or on a paper plate if you have one handy. The process works without them, but they will help things dry quickly and evenly as they wick away water. Place in microwave in a single layer and microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Repeat the process until leaves are crunchy and thicker stems snap when flexed. Some herbs will take up to 3-4 minutes, while thinner ones might only take a minute or two. (if you don't use a paper towel, make sure to move each leaf between rotations so it doesn't sit in it's own herby-juices)
4. Store: Herbs will keep in any air tight container for up to a year. Add them to your usual dishes for a bit of added flavor.
Drying herbs in the microwave is a great way ensure the current batch in your refrigerator doesn't go bad before you can use it. Since it only takes a few seconds, there's no excuse not to buy fresh and get that extra punch that they can deliver, without the worry that you won't use them all up!
Click to see all of this month's Home Hacks tutorials.
(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)