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We have perennial herbs growing in the garden, so every year we get to enjoy harvests. We use them fresh in cooking, but we also dry the herbs to use in the winter. Here’s my method for drying herbs for use all year long.
This is lovage. It tastes a lot like celery but it’s stronger. It’s great to use in soups or stews. You can see it grows quite tall and if it gets too large for its spot, you can divide it in the Fall and end up with two plants.
Since it grows quite large, you can easily give it a really good trimming in late Spring. You will have lots of Lovage to dry for future use and the plant will still be a good size.
A basket full of just picked Lovage. Oh it smells so wonderful and look at all those large leaves. I will dry all of the leaves and then pick some more. That’s how much Lovage we can use in a year. We use it often and I never want to find my herb jars empty come February!
I often start drying herbs by snipping the leaves into shallow bowls. I let them sit on top of the woodstove and rustle them with my fingers several times a day. I should note that we don’t use the woodstove while drying the herbs.
Our stove doesn’t get used during the summer months at all. It just becomes a safe spot where I can keep my herb dishes!
It doesn’t take long until the herbs are dry. When they are, I just put them in individual jars, using quart sized mason jars for the larger quantities. I use pint size jars and even half pints for the herbs I only store a small amount of. The bowl in the upper left is basil, and the rest is lovage.
Have you tried drying your own herbs? It’s easy to do and they make everything taste so much better, it’s worth a try to start using more herbs on a daily basis.
The leaves from a Bay Laurel are also easy to dehydrate – bay leaves are used often in soups or stews. They add a wonderful flavour; just be sure to remove the leaves before serving your dish! Here is how to dry Bay Laurel leaves for using all year long.
I grow Basil every year. It has such a strong flavour I find not much is needed to add some awesome flavour to dinners. But I don’t dry my Basil – I found a special trick that really works. Preserving Basil this way really keeps that strong flavour. When you dry herbs, some flavour is always lost – another instance where “fresh is best”.
Here’s how to preserve Basil and keep that strong flavour – it’s a simple, fast and super easy way to preserve a lot of Basil in a short amount of time!
I’ve yet to try using herbs in a salt but this one sounds delicious. It calls for Basil to be used in this Herb Infused Cooking Salt.