Don’t let those extra herbs in your fridge go to waste. This method for drying them is so simple and doesn’t require any special tools.
Last summer I started my first vegetable garden. It was one of the things I looked forward to most about having yard. There’s something about growing your own food that is just so satisfying. And there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING like a homegrown tomato. Every day after work I’d go see what sprouted since the day before. I looked forward to seeing which tomatoes finally turned red, counting the baby cucumbers for future pickles, or finally seeing the first purple pepper. One of the things I enjoyed the most, though, was picking fresh herbs each night to add flavor (and antioxidants) to my meals every night.
But as summer turned to fall and the first frost hit, I was left with an abundance of herbs and no way to use them up quickly enough!
So, I decided to dry them. And it couldn’t have been easier. After getting stuck down the google rabbit hole to try to figure out the best method (who knew there could be SO. MANY. OPINIONS about drying herbs!?), I decided I was just going to dry them like you would a bouquet of flowers. And it worked perfectly. Other options included buying a dehydrator (I do not need another kitchen gadget that I use for only one or two things) or drying them in the oven at a very low temperature for hours (seemed like too much work/time for me).
And when I realized how easy it was, I thought to myself: why have I not done this before? I have thrown out so many slimy, droopy herbs over the years because you always have to buy more than you need. I have now used this method for thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, and tarragon. From what I’ve read, water heavy herbs like basil, parsley, and chives don’t do well with this method (I have a parsley sauce in the works, though, that will help solve that problem!). And I haven’t had to buy dried versions of any of these herbs since – so it’s a win for my wallet in multiple ways!
Whether you’re left with a small handful or a large bunch, I highly suggest you start drying your herbs.
Here’s the very simple method:
1. Rinse herbs and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Tie into a bunch with kitchen twine or garden string.
3. Tape a long piece of twine/string in front of a window that gets some sun. Hang herb bunches from string for 2-4 days (Just check back for when they easily crumble between your fingers. The sunnier the spot, the more quickly they dry). Be careful of using tape on painted walls – it can pull the paint off. Tape it to the wood frame, instead.
4. Pull herbs off of stems over a bowl and then crush with a mortar and pestle or use your hands if you don’t have one.
5. Store in airtight containers for up to a year. I used old spice/herb jars from the grocery store, small jam jars, or even old face cream tubs (run them through the dishwasher first!). No need to buy anything special here!
6. Say goodbye to food waste!
Let’s chat: Have you dried herbs before? Leave a comment below!