How to Use Fresh Herbs From Your Garden

How to Use Fresh Herbs From Your Garden

Many gardeners plant herbs but aren’t sure how to use them.  We know you are using all of that basil growing like crazy in your garden right now!  What about some of the other herbs plants you picked up at the garden center this spring?  We are highlighting thyme and oregano today because we have a lot of both herbs in the Arborjet garden right now.  While both herbs are wonderful fresh, they are even better – more pungent and flavorful – when dried.

Thyme and Oregano will look like this when they are ready to harvest


To dry thyme or oregano, cut a nice, big handful of long stems from your plants.  Lightly rinse the herbs and then place them on a kitchen towels or on paper towels to dry.  Leave the drying herbs in a place where they won’t be disturbed but with adequate air flow.  



In a few days, the leaves will start to curl.  By the end of the week, the cuttings should be entirely dry.  At this point, rub the stems gently to remove the leaves from the stems.  Store your dried herb leaves in jars with tightly fitting lids.  Keep the jars away from direct light.  Dried thyme is a must with roast chicken but also adds nice flavor to winter soups and stews.  Dried oregano is traditional in tomato sauces and pizzas but is also great with goat cheese, jambalaya, and in a fantastic chimichurri sauce for grilled steak.


Most herbs are at their peak in the garden right now.  You can continue cutting and drying herbs until the plants succumb to the first frost.  Other herbs which are nice dried are:  dill seed, fennel seed, coriander seeds (from cilantro plants), rosemary, sage and parsley.  As autumn approaches, keep your eye on frost predictions for your area and be sure to harvest your herbs.  Enjoy dried herbs from your garden throughout the winter!


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