oven drying herbs
Gardens are weird! You would think they would be reliable from season to season, but…no! For as many years back as I can remember, it was the sage that overtook my space. This year… the sage is barley there and the oregano has gone to town. Sending out runners, invading the other plants’ space, growing as tall as the artichoke plant (well, as you can see, almost that tall) and flowering on a daily basis. I’m constantly cutting that stuff and throwing it in the compose bin. Today, I’m taking a new approach. After running out of dried oregano, which sometimes – in certain recipes is better to use than fresh, I’ve decided to dry my own. Crazy that this thought hadn’t crossed my mind before. Well, maybe it had, but I wasn’t desperate enough to do it before. I’ve given it a try, done a taste-test with the store bought dried and mine and although the store bought is a brighter green than mine, it tastes the same. Yeah, I win! Here are the steps I took to quickly and efficiently dry my oregano.
Harvest herbs from your garden. Wash the herbs gently in the kitchen sink with low running water or with a mist spray, if you have it. Lay on paper towels to dry, patting with towels if needed, before placing in the oven.
Preheat oven to about 120 degrees.
Place herbs on a cooling rack. Place racks in the oven, rotate racks (if using two or more) after about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Your herbs will be done and properly dried was the leaves appear crisp. The drying process should take about 3 to 4 hours – or more, depending on your oven and the herb you are drying.
Strips the leaves from the stems, and store your dried herbs in a plastic or glass air-tight container.