Sunday, 22 February 2015

Air drying herbs: Rosemary & Basil

 
If your herb plants are producing too quickly for you to keep up with the fresh harvest, air drying herbs is an easy and inexpensive option. Here is how to dry and store rosemary and basil leaves. This method can be used for almost all herbs. You can also dry herbs in a food dehydrator or right in your oven. Click here for how to dry Lavender.
 
 
1.  You can see here that our rosemary plant is overflowing and ready to harvest. Make sure you cut near the base of the stem, so you have somewhere to tie the string without damaging the thin leaves. For the purest rosemary flavour, cut the herb before it flowers.
 



2. Tie the herbs in a bunch to hang dry or lay them flat on an herb rack. Even a baking rack will do, just allow air to circulate on all sides.
 
3. If you tie the herbs in a bunch, hang them in your kitchen to dry. Leave the basil alone until dry to the touch.
 



4. When it's dry, run your fingers down the stem and pull off the leaves and flowers.
5. Then you are ready to store the dried leaves in a jar.
You can also freeze fresh herbs in oil or water in ice cube trays. This stores the leaves at their fullest flavour and keeps the shape of the leaves. Then you just defrost when needed. I normally use water to freeze with, just make sure the leaves are 100% covered by the water in the ice tray – or the leaves may become brittle in the freezer.  

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