Raise your hand if you have never ever thrown out a partial bunch of parsley, cilantro, thyme or basil you had bought at the store and had turned bad before you could use it up? What? Anyone? Nope, I didn’t think so… We’ve all been there, done that…
Only a few years ago have I discovered this trick that now helps me keep my herbs fresh for days (sometimes weeks, I confess). I don’t know what took me so long to discover it but hey… I am making up for lost thyme now! And trying not to think about how much money I’ve wasted over the years…
It only takes me a couple of minutes when I get home from the store, and I always have fresh herbs on hand to flavor up all these yummy recipes…
So here’s my guide to keeping herbs fresh. I am not going to go into the chemistry of it, I just know from experimentation that it works! Trust me!
First, no matter what kind of herb you are dealing with, wash them in cold water, dry them as thoroughly as you can in a salad spinner and cut the end of the stems.
- Parsley – Mint – Cilantro – Dill: place in a glass with 1″ of cold water at the bottom. Cover the glass loosely with a plastic bag (I use the grocery store’s bag I brought the herbs home in). Secure it with an elastic band at the bottom of the glass. Keep in the refrigerator. If you feel like it, change the water every few days, but I honestly almost never do that, except maybe for cilantro as it usually has lower hanging leaves that are submerged in the water and turn the water yellowish.
- Basil: same as above except keep it on your counter-top instead of the refrigerator. Otherwise, the leaves will turn brown. You don’t want that.
- Rosemary – Thyme – Oregano – Sage – Chives: instead of putting them in a glass of water after washing, wrap them loosely in a paper towel. Place in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator.
And now for the proof: I present a bunch of parsley that had been stored in my refrigerator for 2 weeks… Except for one leaf turned slightly yellow, I’d say it’s pretty amazing!
PS: It’s the same bunch of 2-week-old parsley I used in the photo on top of this post!