Making Dried Rosemary Powder
Rosemary is such a beautiful herb. I find making Dried Rosemary Powder a great way to add Rosemary as an alternative to fresh. It allows you to enjoy that great fragrance and taste without the hard woody bits.
There are two ways I dry rosemary. Whichever way you choose, remember to wash it briefly under the tap first and gently dry with a soft cloth.
The first way to dry it is simply by securing the bunch with a rubber band or string, suspending it from a ceiling somewhere (I do it in the kitchen) and allowing it to air dry. You'll know it's ready when it starts to shed it's leaves onto the floor, about 2-3 weeks depending on the time of year.
When you test it, the leaves and stems will snap. They won't be at all pliable, so you'll know it's completely dehydrated and all the moisture is gone. You can help it along a bit in your oven using the residual heat after you've turned it off after cooking something else.
Drying Rosemary in the Microwave
The second way is to dry your Rosemary in the microwave. Place a piece of kitchen towel or clean cloth on a plate, put the rosemary you want to dry on the kitchen towel, then place another sheet of kitchen towel/clean cloth over the top of it. So you have 4 layers: plate, cloth, rosemary, cloth.
Put the plate in the microwave and zap it for 20 seconds at a time until the rosemary is dry. This usually takes about 1.5 minutes in total. It's harder to tell when it is done because microwaving damp rosemary will create moisture around it. So let the Rosemary cool completely, then test to check it's at the snapping point.
The images show you the main difference in the Rosemary's appearance depending on which method you choose. Microwaving the rosemary (the bunch on the top of the image) retains its colour far more than air and/or oven drying it (the bunch on the bottom). It also makes your kitchen smell wonderful as you're doing it!
However both methods are fine, it's really down to your preference. Whichever method you choose, you now have Rosemary ready to turn into Rosemary Powder. It's really important that the herb is completely dried before you move on, as any moisture will spoil the powder when it's stored - it could go mouldy.
Making Dried Rosemary Powder
Pull the Rosemary leaves off the stems, discarding the stems and any very 'woody' leaves. Pop the leaves into a blender - I use my trusty Salter Nutripro - and zap them until they're at the consistency you want.
I pulse the blender so I can check the contents. Large leaves can sometimes miss being pulverised completely so it's a good idea to shake the cup around a bit in between pulses.
And that's it. You now have Rosemary powder which you can transfer into a container to go with your other herbs and spices.
Uses for Dried Rosemary Powder
You can add the Rosemary Powder to bread flour so that it bakes right into the bread. You can sprinkle it on the top of focaccia bread, with sea salt, before baking (yum). If you make your own crackers and/or oatcakes, sprinkle it on the top before baking. You can add it to soups and stews so you get all the Rosemary flavour without the woody stems.
And finally my very favourite: you can mix it with sea salt, sprinkle the mixture over hand cut chips and then bake them in the oven.
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Hello Frances. In theory, your rosemary plant is largely frost resistant. But unfortunately, there is no guarantee that it will survive a cold winter. You can add a bit of extra protection by covering the plant with a bit of garden fleece (or even a blanket) when there is a cold snap forecast. I have rosemary plants that seem to withstand just about anything, I have had others which did not survive frost. I have yet others which partially survive, so part of the plant dies but the main plant carries on. Putting a fleece on them avoids these problems, plus ensure yours doesn’t get waterlogged – rosemary hates that! Good luck.
I got a rosemary plant in the summer.I know nothing about what to do with it.I t is 30degrees here at night,I have it in the ground with a good amount of mulch on it.There are dried leads on it , new growth on it too.Should I protect from freezing?Any info would be highly appreciated.