As I was making Sunday Sauce today while watching the Daytona 500, I brought in some of the parsley to add to the meatballs. Having a bunch left over, I decide to give the drying process a try. This works well with basil and oregano as well.
After washing the leaves, cut or rip them from the stems and spread out on a piece of wax paper. Put them into the microwave and cook on high for 50 seconds. Open the door and give them a little stir and then microwave a second time for 40 seconds. You might have to experiment with the times depending on your microwave. You may hear some popping or crackling while they cook, but that's normal. At this point, all of the moisture in the leaves should be gone and the leaves will be nice and brittle. You can crush them in a mortar and pestle, or just rub them in your hand to get the desired texture.
As you can see in the pictures, the herbs maintain their original color.
|Fresh parsley after drying and crushing|
|Quite a contrast from the store-bought|
This process also works well with fresh bay leaves. Since I cook alot of Italian food, I go through a bit of bay. I came across a bay laurel plant at the local nursery last fall and snatched it up.
|Bay leaves. The fresh ones are on top|
The whole process took 10 minutes at best. Easy stuff.