Fresh herbs are the way to go in almost all recipes, but having dried herbs on hand makes for a nice backup plan. Drying your own herbs is quite simple, so let’s add a little spice to your spice cabinet! I’m drying basil because my basil plant is dying and I want to salvage some of the leaves.
- Freshly plucked leaves from your favorite herb
Pluck the leaves off the stem and lay them flat on a baking sheet, then into a preheated oven at 150 degrees. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they look and feel dry and crispy. Basil tends to have leaves that are a bit juicier in comparison to rosemary, which doesn’t hold a lot of moisture when it’s fresh. So depending on which herb you are drying, you can make your own judgment on the baking time.
After your herbs have been sufficiently dried, place them in a sealed jar or container in whole leaf form. When it comes time to use the herbs, then you can crush the dried leaf. Storing the herbs in whole leaf form is important, because more flavor and oils are locked in, providing you with the freshest flavor. Your dried herb shelf-life can be up to a year, but it will gradually lose flavor over time.