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Rosemary - Dry Herbs

[Do Not Use]DK Publishing logo[Do Not Use]DK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Dry Herbs

The flavor of herbs with woody stalks and tougher leaves, such as bay, thyme, and rosemary is well preserved by drying. Place individual leaves, fronds, and small sprigs on a piece of muslin stretched over a frame out of direct sunlight in a dry, airy room for at least 2 weeks until their color fades a little, and the herbs turn slightly brittle. Alternatively, hang in bundles to dry. Most home-dried herbs lose their flavor after 6 months, as their essential oils evaporate.

Drying flat

Lay herbs flat

Place leaves of herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, fennel, dill, bay, or sage, flat on a muslin cloth so they do not touch one another.

Store in jars

Once dry (leave for at least 2 weeks) pack the herbs loosely in clean glass jars with tightly fitting lids. Seal the jars and store away from direct light.

Hanging herbs

Make herb posies

Tie together 3–4 stems of single herbs, such as bay, fennel fronds, rosemary, or thyme. Hang in an airy, dry room out of direct sunlight.

Leave to dry

Hang strips of lemon peel alongside the herbs, if you like, and leave for 2 weeks until the color fades and the herbs are brittle. Untie and store in sealed jars.

Drying seeds and flowers

Fennel, dill, and coriander seeds, among others, can be home-dried for use in cooking. Both dried seeds and flowers should be used within 6 months.


Hang up bunches of stems, covering the seed heads with muslin and tying securely in place. After a week or so, collect the seeds and store in a paper bag.


Lavender, fennel, and chamomile flowers are easy to dry. Remove the stems, cut off the flowers, and dry on a muslin stretched over a frame for 3 weeks.

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