Use the Microwave to Dry Your Herbs for Long-Lasting Intense Flavor

Like oysters and princes, herbs are about constantly at their best when they ‘re fresh. But we ‘ve all been there : you buy a bunch of parsley from the supermarket for those two tablespoons of trim that you need, a week goes by, and you abruptly find yourself with a wholly lot of newly parsley that ‘s on its room out. What do you do ? The best option is to just find a recipe that uses it, of course. You might besides consider blanching and freezing it in ice rink cube trays .

Or you might want to dry it. Drying herb will greatly extend their shelf life by removing any moisture that bacteria could use to survive. The downside is that it besides robs fresh herb of spirit, olfactory property, coloring material, and texture. But there are ways to mitigate this loss. Your best option ? The microwave. Yes, in truth. It ‘s a trick I picked up from Daniel in his holiday history about spiced nuts .

Compared to early drying methods—like hang or using a first gear oven—the microwave produces the most potent dried herb with the freshest flavor and the brightest color .

What Herbs Can I Dry ?

When it comes to picking which herbs to dry you ‘ve besides got some decisions to make. In general, thick-leafed, hearty herb that grow in hot, dry climates like rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano, and oregano fare well with drying. This is because their aromatic compounds are naturally less volatile than their more delicate, fair-weathered counterparts. They have to be. If they were n’t, they ‘d lose excessively many volatiles through vaporization under hot and cheery conditions .

Dried hearty herb can be used very a lot like their fresh counterparts for flavoring roasts or sautés, for sprinkling into soups or on your pizza, or for stewing and braise .

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Delicate and moist herbs like parsley, mint, tarragon, coriander, chervil, basil, and chives lose a great deal more of their spirit when dried. It just flies off the herbs along with the water while you ‘re dehydrating them. But that ‘s not to say that these herbs are wholly useless in dry class, particularly if you use the microwave to dry them .
Delicate herbs should be used for dishes that use damp cook methods like soups, stews, and braises. They can take on a chartaceous texture if used where fresh herb would be used such as for salads or for garnishing. I would n’t recommend it .

thus what makes a microwave so much better at drying than any early method ? A few factors .

Microwaves Preserve Flavor and Color

What ‘s different about the microwave than other methods of drying ? The main thing is that microwaves specifically target water system as they ‘re heating. Microwaves work by emitting waves of hanker electromagnetic radiation that causal agent polar molecules within your food to quickly flip back and forth. By far the most abundant polar molecule in anything we eat is water. So actually, a microwave does n’t heat up all your food, it just heats up the urine. The hot water in become transfers energy to the rest of your food. An oven, on the other handwriting, heats everything evenly .

What this means is that a microwave can very efficiently case water to evaporate from your herbs—especially because they are sol thin—while leaving flavorful compounds and colorful pigments by and large integral. Herbs that would end up brown or grey and bland by the time they ‘re done dry in the oven or through attend will retain their bright green semblance and much of their aroma after the minute or so it takes to dry them in the microwave .

fair spirit at this rosemary. The batch on the left was dried in the microwave while the batch on the mighty is fresh .

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See how much color is preserved ? You ca n’t taste it, but there ‘s a much relish as there is color in there. And because microwaved herbs are thus brittle and dry ( air- or oven-dried herbs tend to be more rugged than brittle ), they can be reduced to fine, flavorful powders that incorporate beautifully into spice blends and hang-up. Try these Olive-Rosemary Spiced Cashews, for case .

Microwaves Are FAST

Microwaves are by far the most effective method of hotness transfer in your kitchen. You can take a batch of fresh herb from the electric refrigerator to the dry pantry in just a couple of minutes—a fraction of the time it takes for your oven to even pre-heat !

Convinced so far ? here ‘s how to do it .

How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave

step 1 : bedspread the Herbs

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Pick the leaves off the herb and spread them on a microwave-safe denture lined with 2 layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. *

*Do not microwave recycled newspaper towels—they can contain bantam fragments of alloy that can arc and cause fires .

footstep 2 : cover and Microwave

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Cover the herb with a second composition towel or clean dish towel, then microwave them on high might. Most hearty herb will take around 1 moment initially, followed by a few 20 second bursts until wholly dry. Delicate herb will take 40 seconds followed by a few 20 second bursts until wholly dry. All of my time was done with a half ounce of fresh picked herb ( about arsenic much as can fit on a dinner plate in a single layer ) in an 800-watt microwave manoeuver at full power .

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Herbs should crumble when you bend them when they ‘re finished. If the herb are hush elastic, continue cooking them until completely dried .

step 3 : storehouse or Grind

once the herbs are dry, you can store them whole or grind them into a gunpowder for spiciness rubs or spiciness mixes .

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I use either a mortar and pestle or a chocolate grinder to reduce the herb to powder. If you want it extra-fine, you can tap it through a fine mesh strainer. Whether left field whole, crumbled, or in gunpowder shape, dried herb should be stored in a tightly sealing airtight container in a cool pantry away from lightly. Stored this means they ‘ll last for respective months while maintaining spirit and color .

I ‘ve tried the technique to capital success with every normally available herb in even the fondness supermarkets and while I ‘ll placid stick to fresh herb on a day to day basis, it ‘s a relief to know that I have a commodity alternative whenever I find myself in a flood .

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