Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Herbs: To Dry and Taste

It's time to reap the benefits of that herb garden! Drying your herbs allows you to use them all year long. To dry herbs, first harvest them by using a knife or scissors low on the stem. Remove the lower leaves exposing part of the main stem. If herbs are dirty, spray with a mist bottle and dry thoroughly. Bundle 5-10 stems together and tie with kitchen twine or yarn.

Find a dry, warm (68F/20C), dark and well ventilated space to hang the herbs. If you can't find a dark place, use a brown paper bag with ventilation holes to cover the herbs as they hang. Leave the herbs for 1-3 weeks or until leaves have become crumbly. Thicker stems will take longer to dry. Choose to keep the leaves whole, or crush or grind finely. Store herbs in air tight jars, label. Herbs will keep one year.

Here are some recipes courtesy of Midwest Michigan Herb Association.

Herbal Blend Popcorn

3 Tbls. butter-flavored sprinkles (like Molly McButter)
2 Tbls. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes, crushed
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Mix all ingredients together and put in a 4 oz. shaker bottle. To keep free flowing, store in refrigerator.

Basic Herbal Mustard

1 cup yellow mustard, divided
1 cup Dijon mustard, divided
1 Tbls. honey, optional
2 Tbls. of your choice of herbal blends, listed below.

Stir all ingredients together and put in a sterile glass jar. Cover and (if using for gift) decorate lid with a square of fabric and raffia. Label. Let set about 2 weeks in a cool, dark cupboard for flavors to blend. Refrigerate after you begin to use the mustard.

Three Herb Blend

1/3 cup dried dill
1/3 cup dried basil
1/3 cup dried parsley

Scarborough Fair Blend

1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup dried thyme
1/8 cup finely ground rosemary
1/8 cup finely ground sage

Herbs de Provence

2 Tbls. dried basil
2 Tbls. marjoram
1 Tbls. summer savory
1 Tbls. thyme
1 Tbls. finely ground lavender
1 tsp. ground rosemary

Herbal mustards can be served with pretzels or over sausage links or ham. It is also good mixed with plain yogurt and drizzled over blanched vegetables such as asparagus or cauliflower, served warm or cold.

By bethanyg

No comments:

Post a Comment

Free Blog Counter