It’s Spring and our oregano is BOOMING. And while it looks lush and pretty now, I know how quickly it can get out of hand, which means it’s time for a pruning.
Herbs are like eyebrows. It’s hard to pluck them when they look all beautiful and full, but remember: the only thing separating your herb garden from crossing over into full-on Frida mode is a few days of neglect and a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors. It’s time. Don’t let your oregano turn into Frida.
The good news is that it’s ridiculously easy to dry fresh oregano, so none of it will go to waste – and you’ll have a ton of home-grown, organic dried herbs for cooking with and making sauce. (They’ll also grow back just as quickly as your stubborn unibrow, so don’t worry about hacking off too much.)
How to Dry Fresh Oregano
You will need:
- 5 paper bags (see note in step 1)
- 5 few rubber bands
- 25 – 30 sprigs of fresh oregano
Step 1: Prep your bags. If you don’t have paper bags at the ready, I suggest you “borrow” some bags from Whole Foods. By “borrow” I mean “take”, because they are sort of up for grabs anyway and it’s about time you started following your grandma’s footsteps.
Use scissors to make holes or slits – this is to allow air to circulate. (As you can see, they don’t have to be pretty, so channel your inner Edward Scissorhands and have at it.)
Step 2: Snip some oregano from your herb garden. This is as simple as taking your kitchen scissors or pruning shears, and snipping as many stalks as you like at the base. (I did about 25, give or take.)
Step 3: Wash and dry the herbs. Gently give the herb sprigs a good rinse under cold running water, then pat dry with a paper towel, and lay flat to dry.
Step 4: Bundle. Once dry, hold 5-7 sprigs together at their base, remove about an inch of leaves from the bottom of the sprig, then bundle together using string or a rubber band.
Step 5: Place in bags. Place each oregano bundle upside-down into one of your “borrowed” bags. Leave them in a cool area with good circulation until they dry out (about 2 weeks).
Step 6: Remove, and store. Once they are totally dry and crispy – usually in about 2 weeks – remove them from the bags. Hold the stalks by the rubber bands, and gently remove the leaves from the stalks by sliding your other hand down the stalks. Set a bowl or paper towel underneath to catch all of those crispy leaves. Then, transfer dried leaves to a clean, dry jar to store in your spice cabinet, or in plastic bags, to give away.
Step 7: Distribute the extra herbs. Last, but not least: drive around and place the bags of extra dried fresh oregano into your friends’ mailboxes. Disappoint them terribly when they call you and you explain that it is not what they think it is, then cheer them up and tell them to go make some sauce.