Sunday, 5 June 2016

Thyme To Dry Those Herbs

Regular readers may remember me bemoaning the plague of possums, bugs, birds - especially bush turkeys - that ravage our garden.  Well, what used to be our garden. Once upon a time, we had a herb and veggie garden full of beautiful tomatoes and herbs swaying in the sultry Brissie sunshine.  The sea breeze that picked up in the afternoon would waft the heavenly aroma of basil and rosemary through the house, but alas no more. The above-mentioned plague of beasties took over!

there is still a tiny rosemary bush in the garden bed - the possums aren't fans?:=)  

So now I buy from markets and stores, or badger friends for their home-grown produce. I used to be one of those naughty people who buy a herb, use a bit and throw the rest away.  But I am more frugal and careful these days, so I chuck soft herbs straight into the freezer, or blitz them into purees, and store in ice cube trays or plastic bags.  

I had a big bunch of left-over thyme this week, and was wondering what to do with it.  I Googled it of course and found this superb method of drying hard herbs in just a couple of minutes.  I was a bit sceptical when I read it, but now I am a convert.  

So first rinse and dry the herb very carefully if needed.  I bought one of those packets that are already washed so I just laid it down on a piece of kitchen paper so it could air after being in the fridge.

  lay it down to dry/air   

Now you just need to give it 30 seconds in the microwave.  And keep doing this till it is dry and crumbly.  Turn it over each time you put it back in the microwave.  You may need to do it for 4-6 bursts so about 2-3 minutes.

after 30 seconds in the microwave  

In the first 30 seconds, it spattered and steamed up a bit so I was worried!  But I took it out and it had already started to dry out.  I ended up giving it 5 bursts of 30 seconds = 2.5 minutes.  I think it was actually ready after 4 bursts but I wanted to be really sure.

all done after 2.5 minutes

The stems were easily stripped of the dry leaves after the 2.5 minutes.  I was amazed to be honest.  I didn't really think it would work but it did.  Throw away the stems and place the leaves in a storage jar.

all done!

Here it is all done, and in the jar to be used over the next few weeks or so.  I am a happy little cook having found this useful way to save herbs.  And I feel so darn virtuous. 


  1. Oh that is so easy! I wouldn't have thought you could it in the microwave but there yo go! :D Thanks Sherry!

    1. Yes I was very surprised Lorraine. And it worked !

  2. I always remember my mum getting the garden done up for our engagement party. On the day of the party, she came outside and the possums has been along and plucked every petunia from every hanging basket and eaten it. She was furious!

    1. I bet she was! Bloody possums. Always thundering across the roof like sumo wrestlers.

  3. Wow, I haven't tried this technique Sherry. Will give it a go!


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