Before I left for Cape Cod, I hung bundles around the house to dry fresh herbs from my garden. Basically, where ever I found a free nail or hook, a bouquet of something from the garden found a home. I’ve been so fortunate with my herb garden this year, and this is the perfect way to savor my bounty all year long.
Fresh dried herbs have a truer flavor than what you buy in the supermarket since they’ve barely had time to sit on a shelf before using them. It’s also a huge savings to dry your own herbs. Even if you don’t have a garden, how many times have you bought a bunch of herbs for one recipe, and then let the rest spoil away in the fridge? I’m guilty of it, too, or at least I used to be.
Now, it’s true dried herbs are very different than their fresh counterparts. You’ll need to adjust your expectations in the winter months when using dried herbs. I’ve been doing it for so long, my palate easily adjusts from fresh basil in my marinara sauce to dried basil come the cooler weather.
Herbs with a sturdy stem, like rosemary, lemon verbena, thyme, chamomile, and tarragon just need to be tied in a bundle and hung to dry completely (it can take up to 2 weeks for this, depending on the humidity level in your house).
Once dried, remove the leaves, add them to a glass jar, and compost the stems.
More delicate herbs like basil and parsley dry best when the fresh leaves are removed from the stem before drying. The stems contain a lot of water, and delay the drying process. Hope you find this little kitchen tip helpful!