Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Drying Parsley

This year's parsley was more abundant than in previous years. What started off as a few scraggly plants donated by a fellow YMCA member seemed to take off within the past few weeks of somewhat cooler temps, Luckily, tiger swallowtail caterpillars had not discovered it, so today was harvest time.

Parsley patch1

Parsley can be dried in several ways — air drying, in the oven on low heat for several hours, or in a microwave. I used the microwave method because it was the quickest.Microwave-dried herbs still retain their color and potency and this method is said to be easier on plant tissues than conventional oven drying. That's because the water in the leaves absorbs more of the energy than the plant tissue. The water in the leaves gets hot and evaporates, so the paper towels get damp during the drying process. The plant tissue heats up a little because of the contact with the water, but the water absorbs most of the heat. In a conventional oven, all the plant material gets hot, not just the water.

Parsley wash

After washing the leaves, place in a single layer on a paper towel, then cover with another paper towel and set the microwave on high for 60 seconds. If some of the leaves remain soft, increase the time in 20-second intervals until dry. 

Parsley dried

After the dried leaves cooled, store loosely in air tight containers away from heat and light either in a cupboard or the freezer. The dried herbs will keep for several months. When using dried herbs, release the full flavor by crushing the herb leaves before including in a recipe. When using dried herbs, add to soups and stews during the last half-hour of cooking or follow recipe directions.

Parsley jarred

The total time can vary according to your microwave and the amount of herbs available. The parsley did not cook or go brown (although it will if done for too long). Keep a watch on it and don't walk away. It may still be steaming when removed from the microwave.


Daisy said...

Looks great! You got a good crop and now can use it as you need it.

Montanagirl said...

Looks really good!

Blackberry Lane said...

Looks great!

possum said...

Need any basil?

Sandra said...

and to think, the only thing i have ever done with parsley is remove it from a plate in a restaurant... LOL... but then everyone KNOWS i am not a cook..but this is interesting that you can dry it by steaming it.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

I had no idea you could use the microwave to dry herbs. I usually lay then on a rack and place the rack on the dining room table out of the way. But now that we live in an open floor plan, that will be hard to do. I will have to try this next time I go to the farmers market and stock up.

Out on the prairie said...

I freeze it in ice cube trays with a little water.

There was a weird little word verification to get in the site, was I the only one?

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

I used always to have parsley in my vegetable garden, They self sow really good and can become a weed here :-) But I never seemed to use it. My grandmother always hade it together with mashed potatoes but I always forget it when I mash potatoes :-)

Have a great day!

Rebecca said...

What a good idea for saving the extra herbs. It's GOT to be better than store bought.

Debbie said...

nice that you have so much and found a way to save it!!

i know when i use to grow herbs, i always had way too much!!

Elaine said...

Hmmm, I've got some in the frig from my abundant harvest. Guess I'll have to check and see if it's still good.

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