|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.
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.