The weather is getting cooler and it is time to harvest my herbs before the first frost. I made a last batch of pesto with all the remaining basil and harvested about half of the mint for tea. I am very impatient, so I opted to oven-dry the leaves.
First I rinsed the branches in the sink to get rid of any dirt and insects. Then I spent quite a bit of time picking off the good leaves, which I washed again, put in the salad spinner, and then laid out on a clean dish towel to dry a bit more.
While they were drying, I preheated the oven to 180° and then put in the leaves on a cookie sheet, propping the door with the wooden handle of a corkscrew (I read that I should use a wooden spoon for this, but I couldn’t find one–I don’t know what it says about our house that it is easier to find a wooden corkscrew than a wooden spoon). It took about an hour for the leaves to dry completely.
The result was pretty good, but not quite as flavorful as I’d hoped. Next time I will try a slightly cooler oven to see if that improves the flavor.