Before I start, I would like to point out that there are many ways to dry parsley. The method I chose allowed for me to quickly and efficiently dry the herb I was trying to dry, while also retaining the natural green color of the leaves. It might seem different…or a little unorthodox, but this method relies upon the microwave oven.
Now, I realize you might be thinking, “won’t the microwave damage the leaves as it heats up the water?” The short answer is no, the long answer focuses on the thin leaves which allows for the heating water to quickly escape the leaves without harming the plant material. The process is quite simple too, and much faster than waiting on an oven to heat up or even several days waiting for the parsley to air dry.
- Harvest the leaves of the parsley. I chose to do this with my hands and simply pulled them from the plant but scissors may have made this easier to not harm the rest of the plant. Attempt to avoid any leaves that are damaged either by insects or are discolored.
- Lay these leaves out on a paper towel with a 1/4 inch gap between leaves, placing as many as will fit on a single ply of paper towel.
- Place another piece of paper towel on top of the leaf layer (this is essential as it gives the escaping water a place to go).
- Open the microwave and inspect the leaves, if they are dry and brittle enough to snap in half when flexed they are ready. If not, continue to microwave the leaves for 10 – 20 second intervals until finished.
- For storage, pick up a small spice container from the store (I got two nice matching ones from goodwill for $0.50 total) then smash all of the leaves before folding the paper towel in half and pouring them into the container.
As I mentioned, microwaving the leaves is quick and retains the nice green color you expect to see when using spices. It is recommended you use the parsley within 9 months of drying as they will begin to lose potency after this point
If you happen to not have parsley, but have another thin leafed spice, feel free to use this same method! Mint, tarragon, cilantro, basil! The list goes on for the spices that can easily be microwave-dried.I just happened to have a LOT of parsley that I was seeking to preserve for use throughout the year.
The Part Time Vegetarian