Ready to reap the harvest of your herb garden but there is simply too much? Besides giving fresh herbs away to every person you meet, why not preserve the fruit of your labor by drying them?
Let's begin: make sure your herbs are clean - shake them, rinse them with water and pat them dry with a clean towel.
The easiest way to dry your herbs is to hang them upside down in a warm, dry area. The ideal temperature is between 65 and 70 degrees. Drying them inside (especially in the Arizona heat) will retain better color and flavor.
- Hang your herbs for about 1 to 3 weeks, undisturbed. Check them periodically - herbs that have woodier stems (such as rosemary) will take longer than other delicate herbs (such as parsley).
- When the leaves crumble to the touch, your herbs are ready to come down. Strip the leaves off the stem or crumble the leaves gently with your fingers - depending on the herb.
- Store them in an airtight container and you now have preserved herbs from your own garden! *Remember, dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh herbs - use sparingly and to taste.