It is possible to freeze or dry the greenery from kitchen herbs, such as parsley, sage and tarragon, for cooking purposes. Gather the young, tender herbs in the morning for full flavor. Wash well and drain.
Place a few sprigs or leaves of an herb in an airtight freezer container; half-pint or one-pint canning/freezing jars are suitable. Or, spread the herb pieces on a tray or cookie sheet and place in the freezer; when herbs are frozen solid, pack dry in airtight containers.
For use in soups or stew, dice washed herbs and pack into freezer ice cube trays. Fill the spaces with water. Freeze and pop out herb ice cubes, placing in airtight freezer plastic bags. Pop frozen herb ice cubes into soup stock when cooking.
Frozen herbs are usually not suitable for garnish; the frozen product becomes limp when it thaws. Chop and use in cooked dishes in the same proportion as fresh.
After the plant has matured, spread out washed stems and seed into one layer on a frame with cheesecloth or on a wire mesh suitable for food drying. It is best to dry the stem and leaves together. Air dry in a warm, low-humidity area or in a 110- to 130-degree Fahrenheit oven.
The length of time in the oven or food dehydrator varies with the kind of herb being dried and appliance used. For example, parsley dries in about 1 1/2 hours; sage in 1 hour and 15 minutes; mint, thyme and savory in about one hour; and marjoram in about 45 minutes. Watch the oven or dehydrator-dried herb to prevent scorching or burning. Allow air to circulate so moist air can escape from the oven. Herbs are dry when the leaves crumble off the stem. Remove dried herb leaves and throw stems away.
Store dry herbs in a dark, airtight container. Keep them dry to avoid molding. Pack in airtight containers or glass jars with tight-fitting lids and use as any other dry herb. Dried herbs keep their flavor and color three months in the kitchen cupboard, one year in the refrigerator or freezer.
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