Collecting and Saving Herbs
Andy Anderson !
Herbs can be fresh from your own garden (brilliant), purchased fresh from a farmer’s market (next best option), picked up at the local grocery store (hit and miss, but usually okay).
Herbs also come in dried form. You can purchase them in small glass vials, or dry them yourself. This discussion is all about herbs.
So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.
Featured Pinch Tips Video
- herbs in all their wondrous varieties
2The Early Bird Gets the Worm… Or the Spice.
The best time to pick your herbs is in the morning. If it’s a humid day, wait until all the dew has gone away, but before the heat of the sun hits them. At this time the oils in the herbs are at their maximum. In addition, try not to pick them if it is raining. It should be cool (before the sun hits them), and the herbs should be dry.
7You could use a dehydrator; however, most of these units utilize heat and air to dry out the food or, in this case, the herbs. While this method will work, due to the heat, you will lose some of the plants oils to evaporation.
The same is true if you use your oven. The higher temperatures will cause some of the oils to evaporate.
8The best way is one of the oldest ways: Tie them into a bundle and hang them in a warm (not hot), place. Some people will hang them in the kitchen; they may look pretty, but they might take on some of odors of items you’re cooking.
Choose and out-of-the-way place, out of direct sunlight.
After a few days they should be dry enough to remove from the stems. Store in tightly stoppered containers in a cool, dry place.