Homemade Dried Herbs- so easy and wow, the flavor!



Making your own dried herbs is the best cooking tip I ever received.

20111222-225834.jpgI have a drawer full of store bought spices. I must confess that I don’t replace them yearly. Now they get used much less often since I learned how to dry my own herbs.

This simple technique is the best cooking tip I ever received.   I learned this tip from Yael, who is a mom at my children’s school and a culinary school graduate.  She offered many great tips when she started the school’s CSA  program, a weekly subscription to organic, farm-fresh produce. This technique is easy and inexpensive. I was surprised at how much more flavor you get when you use homemade, freshly dried herbs. Try it; you’ll see the difference.

My favorite dried herbs are lemon thyme and rosemary. I also have dried dill, tarragon, basil, and oregano. I dry whatever I have on hand. I often have extra fresh herbs around. I buy them for a specific recipe and inevitably have leftover fresh herbs. Then there’s my over-ambitious gardening. All those fresh herb plants look so cute lined up in little pots, except I couldn’t possibly cook with all of them. Now the extra fresh herbs don’t have to go to waste; I am happy to dry them. Then, I used the homemade dried herbs on whatever I can. I like to take a mixture of dried herbs and put them on chicken, fish, roasted potatoes, roasted root vegetables, or anything really. Freshly dried herbs will make any dish more tasty.

1 or more bunches of fresh, organic herbs from the farmers’ market for $1 (or from the supermarket or grow them yourself).

1. Rinse the herbs.
2. Lightly pat them dry, and let them completely dry spread out on a paper towel. I
3. Leave them out in the kitchen for up to a week until the fresh herbs turn to dried herbs.
4. I store all my freshly dried herbs in one large Tupperware with a lid. I section each kind in a separate pile. You can also store the herbs in small, individual glass jars.

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