Learn how to dry parsley in the oven!
Do you have a large amount of parsley growing in your garden? Perhaps you have the friendliest gardener for a neighbor who regularly leaves parsley on your doorstep? Or perhaps you found a good price on it at your local grocery store?
Keep that parsley from going to waste! When dried slowly and gently, this culinary staple generally preserves a significant amount of its peppery/grassy scent and flavor.
SEE ALSO: 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Dried Parsley
How to Pick and Choose Parsley for Drying
When purchasing parsley from the store, you want to look for those that are rich green in color and appear to be in good condition. Whenever possible, avoid buying bunches that have wilted or yellowing leaves, as this suggests that they are either overmature or damaged.
Purchasing bundles of parsley from the store is only one way to obtain parsley for drying. The other option many people prefer is growing and harvesting your own parsley. It is best to wait until the plant has produced substantial foliage before picking parsley leaves.
The optimum time to pick parsley is early in the morning before the temperature rises too high during the day. Because of the high concentration of essential oil in the leaves during this time, the flavor of the leaves is at its most intense.
When harvesting parsley, the basic guideline is to select a few leaves on a regular basis rather than a significant harvest occasionally. This will allow the plants to produce more leaves. Otherwise, parsley will go to seed very early in the season if not protected.
When harvesting homegrown parsley, you should use younger stems since they offer the most taste. Check to see if the plant’s stems contain three or more parts. It’s time to harvest if there are three or more leaf clusters on the stalk. Otherwise, you should wait a few more days before harvesting.
You have the option of harvesting individual leaves or complete stems. Leaves may be easily plucked or pinched. Cut towards the base of the stem rather than the top while gathering stems. Cutting parsley stems near the plant’s base encourages growth, resulting in bushier plants. To trim the stems properly, use a sharp pair of sanitized scissors or garden shears.
When you just need a few little sprigs for daily usage, avoid cutting the plant in the middle of its development. Cutting stems from the plant’s outer section is a preferable option. It will ensure that the oldest growth is harvested first.
SEE MORE: How to Harvest Parsley for Drying
How to Dry Parsley in the Oven
How to Prepare Parsley for Drying
The majority of parsley doesn’t need to be washed if it’s picked straight from the garden and there have been no chemical sprays applied to it. Nothing more than a gentle shake will serve to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on it.
If your parsley happens to be dusty or muddy, rinse it thoroughly under cold running water or use a salad spinner to remove the dirt. Remove any rough, woody portions of the stem that are present.
With this next step, you have numerous options to choose from. Some people prefer to cut the parsley into small pieces, about a quarter of an inch, and then blanch the parsley for about 30 seconds. However, you can skip the blanching process and spread the parsley on a towel, and allow it to dry overnight. If you are in a hurry, another option is to roll up the parsley in a clean towel and squeeze it to remove as much moisture as possible.
Drying Parsley Using an Oven
Some people prefer using a food processor to mince up the leaves and stems; others cut the leaves from the stem. Using a food processor allows you to cut the parsley into uniform-sized pieces, which helps with the drying time.
- Step One: Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s fine if your oven only gets down to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check that your oven rack is in the middle.
- Step Two: Place the parsley on a baking sheet, making sure not to overlap any leaves. Bake for 20 minutes. The use of parchment paper to line the baking sheet is highly recommended. Monitor frequently to ensure it does not burn.
- Step Three: After 20 minutes, inspect the leaves to see whether they are dry and crumble readily when pressed between your fingers.
- Step Four: If they haven’t dried yet, repeat the process for 20 minutes. Continue drying the leaves until they are totally dry. Usually, it takes about three to six twenty minutes sessions to completely dry the parsley. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
Step Four: Using your fingers, gently crush the leaves together. Continue to shred the parsley leaves until done.
How to Store Dried Parsley
When it comes to storing dried parsley, glass is the recommended container. Dried parsley may be kept for up to a year in the refrigerator. Keep the container in a cold, dry, and dark location until needed.
You may also combine drying and freezing to extend the amount of time it can be utilized in the kitchen. Place the dried herb in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze it. Your dried parsley will survive a year and a half if you use this approach.
SEE ALSO: Easy Methods of Drying Parsley at Home
Thank you for the image: treehugger.com