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Taste

A Three-Minute Trick To Preserve A Summer's Worth Of Fresh Herbs

Get some great flavor all year long.

Maybe you went crazy in the spring, planting starter herbs of rosemary, mint, thyme, oregano and marjoram. You don't even use marjoram, but there was a deal so you bought it anyway. Now, as peak growing season winds down, you're the proud parent of a bounty of fresh herbs. So many, in fact, you'd never be able to use them all.

So what's a culinary bon vivant to do?

Thankfully, the folks at America's Test Kitchen have an answer, and it'll only take you a couple of minutes.

In the above YouTube clip, Bridget Lancaster explains that all you have to do is line a dish with paper towels, lay down some of your hearty herbs, cover them with another paper towel and nuke them on high in the microwave for one to three minutes. And voila, freshly dried herbs to be used for up to a year.

There are a few caveats to this trick: when Lancaster says hearty herbs, she's talking about things like rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, sage, mint or marjoram. Plants like dill, cilantro and parsley won't hold up to the heat and run the risk of "combusting in the microwave," she warns.

It sounds simple, and it is. But remember, even when dried, herbs are best used sooner rather than later as they'll lose their flavor and potency over time. So eat up.

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