Preserving Herbs


If you have grown lots of your favorite herbs or buy them fresh in the market, and long to preserve a good pallet for winter, it’s pretty easy. Herbs can be dried right in your oven on its lowest setting. Keep the door ajar and stir occasionally. I live in the desert so herbs air dry quickly without the oven. But you must be aware that if not completely dry and stored in glass jars they will get moldy. This is true of grocery bought herbs in jars as well. Freezing could be a better option.


I am an advocate for washing herbs no matter what. If their destination is the freezer, once washed use a salad spinner to eliminate as much water as possible. Then spread the herbs out on a towel and dry completely. It is recommended that they be quick frozen on a cookie sheet before they are placed in a storage container. Tiny leaved varieties such as thyme should be frozen as sprigs. Larger leaves should be removed from their stems and frozen as individual leaves. Note that basil is the only herb that should be blanched before freezing. This simply means pouring boiling water over the leaves for one second before drying completely and freezing.

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