Dried Herbs

thyme For my birthday earlier this year, my dad built me a raised herb garden made of cedar wood. During the summer and fall, I love to use lots of herbs when I cook, so it was a great gift. Besides the dill that I may have pruned too much, all of the herbs took off, and most thrived until the late fall. With temperatures in Kentucky dropping well under freezing over the weekend, I decided it was time to harvest what was left.

I’ve been known to make huge batches of pesto to make use of overgrown basil and freeze herbs in ice trays before, but I’ve never dried them. This year we had so many that I didn’t want to waste, so I decided to dry them. If everything turns out well, I may put them in cute packages and use them as stocking-stuffers for friends and family who enjoy cooking.

After researching the best methods to dry them, I decided to go with the classic air-drying method. Some guides I read suggested drying the herbs in the oven, but I didn’t want to risk the chance of burning them. While the air drying method may take a couple weeks, it’s much harder to ruin the herbs.

All I did was gather the herbs in bunches. You can use rubber bands or wire. I went with rubber bands because as the herbs dry, they shrink and can fall out of the wrapped wire.

oregano bunch

Then I cut slits around the corners of paper bags to allow for a little bit of airflow before bunching the paper bags around the bunches of herbs. Again, I used rubber bands to secure the paper bags.

herb bagThe placemats are Pomegranate – one of my favorite Lexington brands. A similar pattern is linked here.

I hung the herb bundles from rafters in the attic where we have a dehumidifier. Ideally, you should hang the herbs in a cool, dry area for a couple of weeks.

I’m excited to begin using the finished product in some new recipes!

Do you have any good winter recipes that call for dried herbs?

Cheers! Laura