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Preserving parsley

17 Oct 2008
Overcast 12°C / 53°F

cmagnus’ suggestion to microwave-dry herbs was so easy and successful that I just did all 4 cups of parsley this way. Did it 2 cups at a time in six 30-second increments at 80% power. Turned the paper towels at each 1-minute interval; changed towels at the 4th turn. Parsley came out perfectly dried, retained its color and strong parsley scent. Instead of taking two weeks, and leaching color and flavor, it took two minutes and it’s gorgeous.

Photos in order: fresh parsley, halfway through, dried parsley, in container (sprig for scale)


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cristyn

cristyn

Folia Helper

United States5b

yay!

Posted on 17 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

Whoa. Nice! What’s the full method to doing this microwave-drying?

Posted on 17 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)
ceae

ceae

Folia Helper

Canada6a

Looks great – nice big flakes. Thanks for posting. I’ve head many times microwaving is the ideal way to dry herbs, but never tried it myself!

I wonder if it works as well for other herbs?

Posted on 17 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

@caea: I’m going to try the rosemary, sage and oregano this weekend, so we’ll see. @skyfiery, basically just what I wrote in the post. I spread it fairly flat in a paper towel sandwich, and zapped it 30 seconds at a time. Two cups of leaves yielded about 3/8 c. of dried. (The container is just under 4" tall.) The paper towels drew off the water (second picture). By the 4th zap the towels were pretty much soaked (!), so I changed them. Sometimes I kinda groove on the atavistic housewife thing, with the hanging herbs and the arcane food knowledge, but I’m definitely in with the 21st century on this one.

Posted on 17 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

Thanks, Nax!

Posted on 17 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

Wow. Looks great. :)

Posted on 18 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)
Annet

Annet

Folia Helper

Egypt10b

That looks wonderful!
Nax – I’m all for the holistic approach here: microwave + hanging herbs + home-made stock + take-out food!

Posted on 20 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

thanks for posting this! I’m going to try it.

Posted on 20 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

great idea – d’you reckon this would work for basil? I just stripped my basil leaves and stuck them in a pot in the freezer, but maybe this would work better?

Posted on 20 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

I don’t see why not. I always bring my basil in so I have fresh all winter, and/or turn the surplus into pesto, so I’ve never tried drying basil.

Posted on 20 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)
Annet

Annet

Folia Helper

Egypt10b

I’m just wondering how well the flavors keep when you dry soft herbs like parsley and basil. I always thought that freezing them preserves the flavor better than drying. What are your experiences?

Posted on 21 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

All of the herbs retained all sensual aspects— taste, smell, color— better than any other drying method I’ve ever tried, and better than even quality store-bought. I used some of the parsley and oregano in a ratatouille as a test, and it was great. It remains to be seen if they retain this over time. Freezing the fresh leaves, however, does keep the soft herbs better (parsley, basil, mint). The “hard” leaves— thyme and rosemary— I usually just put in pots and bring in live because they’re easy to care for.

Posted on 21 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)
Katxena

Katxena

Folia Helper

United States7

Very cool.

Posted on 22 Oct 08 (over 8 years ago)

Just tried the microwave method, but didn’t have much luck. I tried defrost setting first, but it seemed to cook the parsley. I tried doing small batches between kitchen paper at 100W, but it was taking forever, and the parsley still seemed to discolour and get tough. When I ran out of time, I put the rest of the leaves in the water heater cupboard on a baking tray. This seems to have retained colour and flavour better. Does anyone know a good reason why not to do it this way? I’m posting a photo of the two parsley samples to my journal.

Posted on 05 Dec 10 (over 6 years ago)

TS- I put a comment on your journal. Hope it helps!

Posted on 05 Dec 10 (over 6 years ago)

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