Aromatic and flavorful, rosemary is one of the most durable and popular herbs. Unlike many other herbs, rosemary loses little flavor when dried, making it a great choice for drying and storing. It is very easy to dry, so you can always have this aromatic herb at your fingertips and use it in your favorite dishes. Dried rosemary sprigs are also a beautiful and fragrant decoration.
Method 1 of 3: Using the Suspend Method
Step 1. Use scissors to cut the rosemary branches
The best time to harvest rosemary is in the morning, after the evening dew has evaporated.
- The rosemary plant will give robust shoots at the ends you pruned.
- Remove straight shoots of the same length to facilitate storage.
Step 2. Tie the sprigs into bundles, winding them around the base with string
Leave some of the string left over, so you can hang your rosemary bundles more easily.
- An alternative is to use rubber bands to bundle the branches.
- You can group up to eight rosemary sprigs per bunch.
Step 3. Hang the rosemary branches in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place to dry
You can even dry the rosemary outdoors, however, it is recommended that this be done indoors for better flavor and color.
- Good options for drying rosemary are on your balcony, attic or in a pantry. You can try hanging the rosemary bundles on a clothes hanger if that's more convenient.
- Some people also recommend covering the rosemary with brown paper bags. This prevents dust from accumulating and prevents sunlight from fading its color. Leave some holes in the paper bags to keep the rosemary well ventilated.
Step 4. Turn the rosemary sprigs every day or two to ensure they dry evenly
You'll know it's dry when the rosemary loses its flexibility, both in the stem and in the leaves. This should take about two weeks.
- It is also possible to spread the sprigs or bunches of rosemary on a flat or slanted window, placing them on cement or wooden blocks, in order to have a greater air circulation.
- If your environment is humid then you will need to dry them in an oven or in a food dehydrator.
Step 5. Store the rosemary dry
When completely dry, place it on a sheet of parchment paper and separate the stems from the leaves. Store them in an airtight container in the kitchen cupboard. Use dried rosemary in recipes such as roasted lamb and stew, herb and garlic bread, rosemary infused oil, and rosemary butter.
Method 2 of 3: Using the Oven
Step 1. Prepare the rosemary
Wash it well with cold water to remove any dirt. Dry it with a paper towel or use a salad dryer to remove all the water. Remove any withered leaves or branches.
Step 2. Spread the rosemary on a baking sheet
Place it, cut into 0.5 cm sprigs, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Don't pile them up.
Step 3. Bake
Place the baking sheet on the top shelf of the preheated oven at the lowest temperature. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, until the rosemary stalks are brittle.
Step 4. Transfer to a bottle with a lid, suitable for storage
After taking it out of the oven, let it cool completely. Gather the edges of the parchment paper that was lining the baking sheet, like a funnel, and pour the dried rosemary into the clean glass. Close the bottle very tightly and store it in a dry, dark place such as your kitchen cupboard.
Method 3 of 3: Using a Food Dehydrator
Step 1. Prepare the rosemary
Wash and shake it to get rid of excess water, or use a salad dryer.
Step 2. Spread the rosemary on the dehydrator trays
Turn it on at a low temperature, from 35ºC to 40ºC, until the rosemary stalks are brittle when bent.
The most delicate herbs disintegrate when dried, but rosemary leaves and stalks often just break
Step 3. Store the rosemary in a clean glass
Place the dried rosemary in a clean glass and seal tightly. Store it in a dark, dry closet.
- Rosemary can be used widely. It is excellent for seasoning pork, chicken, fish and seafood. Rosemary is astringent, so you can put it in hot water and use it to get a facial steam treatment. Its long-lasting aroma is invigorating, so add a few sprigs of rosemary to the hot tub water for a stimulating shower. Rosemary tea is used to improve mood and circulation, in addition to calming the nerves.
- If you don't have a food dehydrator or an appropriate drying environment, you can keep the rosemary fresh by freezing it. Wash and shake to remove excess water, or run the dried rosemary twigs in the salad dryer and then freeze them in plastic bags. When completely frozen, remove the leaves from the stems and store them in a canning jar, vacuum-packed, or any other tightly closed container.