Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dehydrating the Summer Harvest

The summer garden harvest train keeps chugging along and we are still on track cooking up tomato sauce to freeze, canning and making refrigerator pickles, throwing veggies in the oven to roast and freeze for later and using our dehydrator quite a bit. I got this dehydrator several years ago at a thrift shop and just didn't pull it into service for whatever inexplicable reason, but it's been a scene stealer in our summer kitchen of late.

I have tried drying string beans, zucchini slices and grape tomatoes destined for the winter soup pot, but the quickest and easiest use is for drying herbs. We always have fresh basil in the garden and I usually keep making pesto for the freezer, but this year I whipped out the dehydrator and got it going early in drying my herbs. It's been great for drying mint and keeping the creeping lemon balm from taking over the other plants. I just wash the herbs, dry them in the salad spinner and then spread them on the dehydrator trays. The dehydrator gets plugged in and I leave the herbs overnight and they are CRISPY by morning.

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