Thursday, October 9, 2008

Drying Herbs

I want to thank everyone for your very kind comments on my previous post. I don't know what I would do without you. I am feeling better tonight. Keeping busy helps. A special thanks to a couple of you and I think you know who you are who were extra special sweet.
It is supposed to be cool, rainy and maybe even some snow flurries this weekend so I decided it was time for me to get the herbs in. I've been putting it off all month but when it's 70's you really can't think about it freezing. It won't be a hard freeze but for the tender herbs like basil it might be too much. I don't think it will be that bad but you just never know. I read in the Cooks Illustrated flyer that they send me every once in awhile because they want me to subscribe that you could dry herbs in the microwave. So here goes!!
I don't know why these silly pictures post sideways when they look okay when I upload them....Oh well. This is Thai Basil. Have you ever tried it? I love it with roasted potatoes. I just cut potatoes, add some garlic cloves and a few leaves of Thai basil. Sprinkle with salt/pepper and olive oil. Toss and throw in the oven at 400 and bake.
I also did regular basil. All I did was wash and dry everything. Pull the leaves off and put them on a paper towel. Lay in the microwave and turn it on for 30 seconds. Then another 30 seconds and then 10 second intervals until they were dry. Each herb was different but I don't recommend doing more than 30 seconds at a time. I did with my Parsley and I kind of had a fire in my micro...not a good thing!!
I dried sage and also froze some. All I do when I'm freezing is wash, dry and put in a Ziploc freezer bag. I leave those on the stems but I recommend taking the ones you are drying off the stems because that is what caught fire on the parsley. Live and learn!! This is the first time I have dried herbs this way and I am really happy with the results.
Sage and parsley while they were drying.
Below is the sage after I dried and crumbled it.

Finished product that I later labeled so I wouldn't forget what was in the jars. Sage, parsley (2 jars) and regular basil and the Thai basil below.
I didn't crumble the basil, just put it in the jars. I crumbled everything else. I froze Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Chives. Everything went in the Ziploc bags whole on the stems but the Chives I snipped in little pieces for adding to omelets, etc.


Cherdecor said...

Judy, you are somethin'! You are little Miss Martha S. Tell me this, do fresh herbs make more of a difference in the taste of your dishes than store bought herbs do or do you just get satisfaction out of doing it yourself?

As I looked over your shoulder this morning, the little containers look so pretty. I mean, even if the herbs tasted the same, they sure look prettier than the ones from the store. They look richer in color. That green is really green!

I think I have been missing out on not using fresh herbs. Mine have been in the cupboard for fourteen years! Just kidding, well maybe not! Hahahaha!

LaundryBasketCase said...

Thanks for that info Judy - I always wondered about drying herbs. I will definitely try this myself. I am a big fan of rosemary and recently baked a honey & Rosemary cake from the Apples for Jam book... this would be perfect to do before putting the rosemary into the cake.
I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to comment on your previous post. Your photos are beautiful! I am so sorry about your friend David, it's not easy losing someone special in your life. Treasure the memories and he will always be close to your heart. Big hugs xxx

Barb said...

Hi Judy,

I was just reading about your friend David. 62 is so young. I am so sorry for your loss but David was very blessed by being loved so much.

I am going to start calling you Martha-hehe.


The Vintage Kitten said...

Glad you are feeling better today X
Great post btw. I use fresh herbs all the time, and the leftovers usually go in the bin so I am taking notes! X

Nola @ Alamo North said...

I use fresh herbs all summer, and freeze them for the winter. I tried drying in the oven, but never the microwave, how wonderful! They are so green, they still look fresh! I am gonna go grab some basil and sage right now and try that!

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Wow! Dear Judy...
Thanks to you, my culinary skills are improving every time I came to visit you!
Thanks for sharing your recipes and wonderful tips, with us all!
Many Kisses

Debbie & Alan

Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah

Simone said...

Thanks for the tips on drying herbs!

Melissa said...


I always learn something of great use, when I visit your blog. You have a vast variety of talents.

I am so glad we found each other in 'Blogland'. You are a great friend.


Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- who knew??? What a great idea! And did you actually say the "S" word??? Say it ain't so!!!


Hi Judy,
I tagged you...come visit me.
Have a great weekend.

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Hi Judy, My basil never grows that big ! Wha-a-a-a ! :( :(
Where do you get the cute little jars ?

Sher said...

Judy, I almost forgot to ask you - can you tell any difference in the taste between the microwave method and the "natural" drying method? Also, which do you prefer? (I still haven't tried the microwave way yet.)