How to Wash and Dry HerbsDara Wechsler
Spring is here and the time for freshly picked herbs from the garden is fast approaching! It is easy to dream about sunny days where you are cooking fragrant meals with herbs freshly picked from the garden. But, usually, those daydreams do not include the process of cleaning and drying the herbs.
Thankfully, it can be quick and simple, if done properly! Not to mention, correctly cleaning and drying your herbs will help to remove germs and debris and prevent them from drying out, which will make your herbs last longer so you can continue making those delicious, herby meals. Keep reading to learn more about how to properly wash and dry herbs.
Washing Hard Herbs
Hard herbs can be washed using a salad spinner because they are tough and usually woody. First, rinse the herbs under cold water. Once fully rinsed, place the hard herbs in a salad spinner. Spin the salad spinner enough to mostly dry the herbs, but not too much that the herbs get caught and rip. Using a salad spinner to wash and spin your hard herbs will remove any debris or germs that contribute to decay, therefore making your herbs last longer.
Washing Soft Herbs
Soft herbs are tender and are more apt to rip or tear, so washing these herbs requires a more delicate approach. When washing soft herbs, you can choose to rinse the herbs under a stream of cool water or place the herbs in a bowl of cool water. If you wash the herbs by rinsing under a stream, be sure to fully rinse the entirety of the plant; leaves and stems included. If you wash the herbs in a bowl of cool water, fully submerge the herbs and lightly swirl them around. These cleaning methods will allow for any debris to be removed while keeping the herbs intact.
After washing your hard and/or soft herbs, it is important to dry them properly so they do not have too much moisture and allow for bacteria build-up or become too dry that they dry out.
Once your herbs are washed and the excess water is spun or dripped off, lay the herbs out on paper towels. Cover the herbs with a second paper towel and pat them gently. This will take longer for the soft herbs. Do this until they are mostly dry (not 100% dry). You do not want to dry your herbs too much, as this will remove the necessary moisture needed to prevent the herbs from drying out.
Now that your herbs are washed and dried, check out our blog about storing herbs to learn how to keep your herbs fresh for weeks!