I bought some dried rosemary and discovered that it includes some tiny bits of stem along with the dried leaves. Separating out the undesirable bits using my fingers is a really tedious process. Is there an easier way?

  • 2
    Would you accept an answer along the lines of "don't bother"? A few small bits of stem won't overly affect the flavor, nor will it really be visible in the final dish if you're crushing/grinding the rosemary leaves any further.
    – logophobe
    Jun 12, 2018 at 16:03
  • @logophobe That would work sometimes, but I don't always want to grind it. Nice idea for suitable occasions, though.
    – mrog
    Jun 12, 2018 at 16:53
  • I've a collection of sieves with holes from 1mm to 6.25mm diameter. Made them myself from plastic buckets using a drill. They work pretty well for jobs like this. Might be simpler to try rolling your rosemary down a slanted cutting board. The round stems show roll at a lower angle than the flatter leaves. You want to wiggle the board a bit, and not overload it. Might take two or three passes to get good separation, so be sure to have something to catch the mostly stems as they come off the board. Jun 12, 2018 at 23:03
  • @WayfaringStranger Those are interesting ideas. I'm guessing the company that processed the rosemary had the sieve idea, too, because the twigs and leaves are all roughly the same size. I experimented with the cutting board idea for a while, but couldn't achieve good separation that way, either. (Although I hear the cutting board technique is perfect for separating mustard seeds because they roll so much better than the pod bits.)
    – mrog
    Jun 27, 2018 at 21:49
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    @mrog Yeah, they're often used in industry. The slanted cutting board separates round from flat very well. You can buy sieve sets, but they're expensive. I used window screen for the finest, and drilled hundres of holes in the bottom of old plastic ice cream tubs to make a set up to about 1/4" (6mm). Fair amount of work, but they come in awful handy if you're gowing your own herbs, or buying in bulk and milling. Jun 27, 2018 at 22:34


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