Waaay back in 1999 and through 2001, I published an herbal newsletter, The Country Cottage Herb Gardener. I've recently found copies of those files on an old back-up disk (yippee!) and decided to share some of the short articles with you.
This one explains how to dry herbs in your microwave. It's timely because many of us have an over-abundance of things like basil and rosemary right now. It's a good time to harvest it and dry it for winter use.
|A honeybee loves the blooming rosemary|
When the weather just won't cooperate enough to let you dry your herbs outdoors, or when it is too humid indoors, you can dry some herbs in your microwave oven.
Some herbs that can be dried for cooking or crafts in the microwave include basil, dill, mint, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, lavender, tarragon and others. The basic instructions are simple. Simply place two paper towels or an old cotton towel on top of a flat microwave-proof plate or tray. Place the clean, dry, individual herb leaves flat on the paper towels in one layer. Cover the leaves with another paper towel.
Place the plate in the microwave and cook on high (100%) power for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the plate from oven and allow to cool. Check to see if leaves are thoroughly dry by crumbling some between your fingers. If they won't crumble and still seem to be moist, microwave for an additional 30 seconds at a time until they are dry.
In our experience, a handful of herbs (or about 4 or 5 short stalks) of basil, rosemary or sage will dry in 3 minutes. Of course, allowing for differences in individual microwave ovens, yours may dry the herbs in more or less time. Experiment a little and see what happens!
|Nice fresh rosemary, ready to be dried|
Happy trails from HOT Texas!