What Is Rosemary – How To Dry Rosemary – Storing Rosemary – Harvest Rosemary – Using Dried Rosemary – Rosemary Turning Black
Rosemary is a very popular culinary herb that a lot of home cooks see as something really valuable to have at hand. But being able to preserve the plant if you have some growing at home is very important. It will make you able to enjoy the harvest many months later.
Since the most harvests will be done during the summer we need to keep that as nice as possible for as long as possible. This is when drying comes. It really is a great way of keeping both the flavor and aroma of the plant.
What Is Rosemary
Rosemary is a very old medicinal herb that has been growing and used around the mediterranean area for many centuries. It’s very unique in both the look and the flavor of it.
It has these almost needle-like things growing from it. They are rather cheque if eaten on their own but chopped and tossed in a salad or a stew they are magical. The flavor of the herb is slightly citrusy and almost eucalyptus like. It has a very strong aroma if you rub some between your hands. This releases the natural oils in the herb making it much more pleasant.
It has for centuries been used both for cooking but also aromatherapy where people would light the rosemary in order to cleanse rooms before rituals. Not as common these days but a fun fact to know.
How To Dry Rosemary
There are a number of different ways you could dry rosemary. They all have their pros and cons with them. But the aim is the same really, we want to keep the freshness and aroma of the hern without damaging it at all.
This might be the trickiest of the methods since if we microwave it for too long we just end up with a burnt taste instead. So the best approach is to dry the rosemary in the microwave in short bursts. Do this until the texture is crumbly and you can feel that the rosemary is completely dry.
Thankfully this should be pretty quick as rosemary doesn’t contain a lot of water, so there is not a lot that needs to escape from the sprogs in order for it to be dry.
Oven Drying Rosemary
This is perhaps the easiest method as it simply consists of tossing the rosemary in the oven on a tray with some paper underneath. Put the oven on the lowest possible setting and let the rosemary dry for about 6 – 8 hours.
That should be sufficient for it to be completely dry and ready to be stored. Keep it in an air-tight container so no moisture is able to reach it. That way we greatly increase the longevity of the rosary.
Air Drying Rosemary
This is our favorite way of drying rosemary since it not only keeps a lot of the aroma of the herb, but also fills the room with that aroma too. Simply tie a rosemary bundle with some string and then hang it up.
It will take between 1 and 2 weeks until the rosemary is completely dried up. But the aroma and the flavor of the rosemary will not be changed that much.
If you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator at home then this is a great way to quickly and efficiently dry a large amount of rosemary at a time. It will take about the same time as drying in the oven actually, between 6 – 8 hours.
Same steps should be taken here to, store the dried rosemary in an air-tight container so that no mousite is able to reach it and rehydrate the rosemary again, which would just make it go bad.
How To Store Rosemary After Drying It
We have shortly mentioned the best way to store rosemary after drying it already. But to reiterate, we want no moisture being able to get to the dried rosemary. That will just make it a lot harder to keep it for the long term.
Moisture makes for a humid environment, and it’s there that molds and bacteria like to grow. If the rosemary is kept completely dried then nothing can grow on them.
So an air-tight container in a kitchen cabinet will be the best option. Kept like that you can enjoy the rosemary for at least 6 months before the flavor and aroma starts to disappear.
How To Harvest And Preserve Rosemary
It’s very easy to both harvest and preserve rosemary actually. We should mention that you should never be stressed to harvest rosemary. It doesn’t grow that quickly so no harm in holding off for a few weeks.
But to harvest the plant we normally cut off a few sprigs at a time. We then preserve them by drying them. This is done by first tying them with some string and hanging them in them freely in the air. The drying will take about 1 to 2 weeks or so. It keeps the flavor and aroma very well.
How To Use Dried Rosemary
Using dried rosemary is very simple. We prefer it in soups or sauces. That way the rosemary can rehydrate again and add a lot of flavor to our food. So to keep it simply, something liquid is a great option to add dried rosemary into.
In a salada, the rosemary would instead add an unappealing texture as the sprigs are still rather dry.
Drying Rosemary Turns Black
If the rosemary you are drying is starting to turn black then you might be doing it at too high of a heat. To counter this, simply lower the heat and increase the time you are drying the rosemary.
It seems like the herb is burning instead of drying. It’s true that the color will shift when drying rosemary, but it should instead be lightly brown instead of black.
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