How to Dry Your Garden Herbs?

Now’s the time to dry your garden herbs and stock up for winter! The herbs in my garden in DC still look pretty good, so I try to pick as many branches as possible before the first night frost arrives. Thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, lemon verbena (for tea!), tarragon, and rosemary can all be easily dried. Once dried these herbs add intensity and depth to many dishes. Herbs I never dry are basil, parsley and dill, because I think they taste far better fresh. But that’s a personal preference; of course you are free to experiment here.

Normally I do not dry rosemary and sage either, for they’ll survive when the winter is not too harsh. But after last year’s brutal winter, when none of my rosemary and sage plants survived, I play it safe by drying also some of those ‘winter hardies’.

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Here is how I do it, it’s an easy job:

1. Pick some herb branches and make sure they don’t have little insects or dirt on them. Wash and dry the herbs if you like.

2. Make little bundles and secure them with a rubber band or a string. Hang them in a dry, dark, warm, well-ventilated place (no not outside in the sun like in these pics, that was just a set up for this post; normally I hang them in my basement where the furnace is located).

3. Let dry for a couple of days (or sometimes a week, not all herbs will have dried within the same time period), until you can easily crumble the leaves between your fingers. Store your dried herbs in little jars in a dark, cool place. Properly stored they’ll taste good for 6-12 months.

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