When summer winds begins winding down and crops are at their peak, it’s time to harvest fresh herbs. Adam Sobel, Executive Chef at Washington D.C.’s Bourbon Steak, preserves herbs grown in the restaurant’s 500-square-foot garden by drying them for use in a variety of fall dishes.
“Dried herbs aren’t as aromatic as fresh, but they do have lasting flavor,” says Sobel. “I use fresh herbs to finish dishes, but I cook with dried herbs, using them in stews, soups and chilis.”
Here’s his step-by-step guide, which you can use to dry herbs in your own home:
Wash the herbs. Clip herbs in large bunches, and rinse them thoroughly in water. Lay them out on paper towels to dry at room temperature or, alternatively, dry in an herb spinner.
Hang herbs to dry. Once dry, tie the stem ends of the herbs into bouquets with butchers’ twine and hang by the windowsill, allowing the sun to dry them. Let hang for 5 to 7 days, until the herbs are dry and crisp (they should crumble easily).
Pick the leaves. Pick the leaves off of the stems and store in jars until ready to use.
Once you’ve dried your herbs, try making Chef Sobel’s Herb and Spice Rub and using it in his roasted chicken recipe for Williams-Sonoma. Another idea: incorporate dried herbs into baking! He recommends add them to bread or savory muffins for an added layer of flavor.