Monday, 8 October 2012

Drying herbs

Taking information from Karen over here - (go down to her entry for 2nd October 2012),  I decided to dry some of my herbs for winter. She recommends they are spread out on a sheet of paper towel and microwaved on full power for 5 minutes. 

My rosemary appeared to not be very healthy this spring so I bought a new one. That promptly died except for one sprig which I used to test this way of preserving.

Half the sprigs were separated from the main stem and placed on paper towel. After 5 minutes they were dry and crisp.

I allowed them to cool then crushed them with my fingers before packing into a clean herb jar. Not much, but it is a start.

I then turned my attention to sage leaves.  After trying one sheet which took 5 minutes, I realised they were curling into cigar shapes because of the rib on each leaf. For the following sheets, I pierced the middle of each rib with my thumb nail and that stopped them curling.

I also found that 3 1/2 - 4 minutes was enough to dry them (the rib takes the longest so if you were patient enough, you could remove it and they would dry more quickly, maybe in 2 minutes. I think I might try that next time I do some!

Another thing I found with sage was the oil transfer onto the kitchen paper (the slightly brown stain as above and below). I would recommend you use each sheet for NO MORE than 2 lots of leaves otherwise it might ignite during microwaving.

Here they are (4 sheets worth) crumbled into a bowl then poured into a jar.

Obviously it goes without saying,that you need to make sure the leaves are fully drying before storing otherwise they might go mouldy.


  1. What a brilliant idea - I shall definitely try this. My rosemary has done very well after a shaky start at the beginning of the year, the sage - not so much, which is a shame.
    best wishes,

  2. What great information. I didn't know you could use the microwave to dry them.


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