Not sure what to do with all those leftover herbs after the holidays? Dry and store them, of course. Here’s how.
Grocery shopping for the holidays can be an exhausting endeavor that often leads to over-purchasing and dreaded food waste. While it’s easy to repurpose roast turkey into turkey salad or use extra whipped potatoes to top shepherd’s pie, leftover herbs are another story…
Instead of tossing the excess, why not dry them for another use? Believe it or not, learning how to dry and store herbs at home is really not that hard.
Technically, any herb can be dried, but heartier herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary tend to hold on to their essential oils even after they’ve given up most of their moisture. That said, chives, parsley, and even dill are worth drying if you plan to use them within a month or so.
The biggest problem with dried herbs is that they’re usually ugly and brown. That’s because as they age, enzymes inside the leaves break down the chlorophyll. But this chemical terminator can be stopped with a quick dip in boiling water.
Here’s how we do it:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the herbs for 15 seconds. Immerse in an ice bath for 30 seconds, then drain and spin the herbs dry in a salad spinner.
Spread the herbs out as evenly as possible on three air-conditioning filters, stacking them on top of one another. Top these with one more empty air-conditioning filter. Lay a box fan on its side and set the filters on top of it.
Strap the filters to the fan with two bungee cords. Stand the fan upright, plug it in and turn it on high. Dry for 12 hours. Rotate the filters and continue drying for 12 more hours.
When dry, remove the herbs from the filters, crumble and remove the stems, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can either keep them in separate containers or mix them to create your own custom seasoning blend. You’re welcome.
Need a direction for your dried herbs? Try these appetizing applications:
Dried oregano and dried parsley brighten up the crisp, breadcrumb coating in our reimagined Chicken Parmesan recipe.
Dried thyme brings earthy flavor to our smoky and saucy Meatloaf: Reloaded recipe.
Oyster Poor Boy
Dried parsley ties together a flavorful slaw that perfectly complements this fried Oyster Poor Boy sandwich.