Mary Ann's Blog

Savoring and Saving Fresh Herbs

Now is the time to capture the flavor of fresh herbs for (dare I say it) winter cooking. Whether you have an herb garden or buy them at your favorite market, herbs can make the difference in a dish tasting just so so or really full of flavor and we all need a little tasty punch during the cold months of the year (oops, said it again). So I dry them all summer long way into the days before Jack Frost makes a visit to my garden.

The process is as easy as one, two, three. Use your microwave! Place fresh herbs on a microwave safe plate and zap them until they are brittle dry. On most microwaves this will be about 60 seconds on high power but every microwave is different so check the herbs a couple of times while drying them.  They retain their color and flavor. Once bone-dry, crush them and store them in airtight containers. Use for rubs and seasonings in your favorite dishes but while it is still summertime, just use them fresh.


  1. Ann Marie's avatar

    Ann Marie

    My herb garden is my pride and joy. I have not bought oregano in over 10 years since I first planted it. I have already cut and dried oregano 2 times this season, and there is so much more to harvest, and share with family and friends. Other herbs ready to dry are basil, thyme and sage. Loveage is another great addition to the herb garden. I dry it and use it to flavor soup during those long winter days.
  2. Anna's avatar


    This is such a fantastic way to prepare fresh herbs for storage! I had no idea you could zap them in your microwave!

    I'm with Ann Marie here- we love our perennial herbs. It's so fantastic to have fresh herbs from our back door, year after year, without any fuss. Rosemary was one herb that was hard to grow perennially here for so long, but I did discover a super hardy variety of rosemary that seems to do fine in a warm spot on the south side of my foundation- a "microclimate" if you will. 'Arp' seems to be the rosemary that works! Along with my rosemary that I rely on, I enjoy the perennial sage, thyme, chives, mints, chamomile, echinacea, lavender, and more. Fresh herbs change food, make fabulous tea, and are great natural medicinal cures.

    Again, thank you for the microwave tip!
  3. p jean ricciuti's avatar

    p jean ricciuti

    I also put my fresh basil into food processor and add extra virgin olive oil....purate all, pour into ice cube trays with lids...when needed, pop an ice cube this process with basil...

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!