At first glance, the beautiful herbs at the grocery store look so fresh and green. Glistening in the dew of a supermarket produce shower, they can look very appealing. When added to meals, they provide brightness and a zippy contrast to your meal's main event.
For many of us, however, fresh herbs are a dream quickly realized - and then forgotten. We'll use them in a single recipe, and then relegate them to the back of our fridge. Several days later, they'll be wilted and deflated... gone AND forgotten.
What a waste!
Don’t let that happen again.
Here are some top tips and tricks for keeping your fresh herbs, fresher longer:
First, get those herbs washed and dried! A salad spinner is a great way to do this without damaging the herbs. Follow that spin with laying them out on a paper towel. Use another paper towel to blot them. This process gets rid of debris and bacteria that may otherwise lead to decay.
Soft herbs, those with leafy greens and long stems like basil, parsley, and cilantro, can be stored just like the beautiful bouquet they are. Trim the ends and remove wilted or browned leaves. Place the herbs in a glass with about an inch of water. Basil should be kept at room temperature on the counter, changing the water every couple of days. Others should be kept in the fridge by placing a plastic bag over the top and sealing it off with a rubber band to keep in the moisture.
Hard herbs, those with woody stems and firmer leaves like oregano, thyme, and rosemary, should be loosely wrapped first in a paper towel and then placed in a plastic bag. To optimize freshness, keep them in the crisper drawer in your fridge.
Most herbs can stay fresh for 2-3 weeks if you treat them right!