I love fresh herbs and use them daily in my cooking. We do grow some, but we don’t have the best soil for a lot of what we like, so we do tend to buy a lot… or get some from mama ;-). And there aren’t many things more disappointing in the kitchen than going to use your herbs and finding them all mushed.
So, here are just some quick tips for how to take care of your fresh herbs when you get them, so they’ll last as long as you need them to!!
Different herbs like different climates, yeah? So the rule of thumb is to try your best to recreate that climate in your home for each herb.
For instance, basil grows in warm weather and really likes a wet heat. So, when you bring your basil home, rinse it off thoroughly, lay it out to dry on a towel, then place it in a vase or jar of water as if it were a bunch of flowers. Then place a plastic bag over their little heads to create a greenhouse effect. The plastic bag is an eye sore, but it does help!
Parsley is fairly easy, so you can put it in water… but I prefer the refrigerator method I’m about to get into. For most other soft herbs, you can store them in the fridge by following these steps:
- Rinse thoroughly to remove all dirt and grit. Untie the bundles if they’re grocery store-bought so you can get a good clean.
- Lay them out on a towel to dry on your counter top. It isn’t necessary to have them bone dry, but mostly dry is good.
- Lay them out loosely over either several still-attached paper towels, or a large kitchen towel, and then roll them up inside of the towel.
- Place that roll inside a gallon sized zip bag and seal the bag with a little air inside. (You can store a few different bundles in each bag.)
Mint, especially does not like moisture, so keeping some air in the bag, along with separating the stems from each other before rolling is very key.
I tend to keep parsley and cilantro on hand at all times, and mint fairly often, along with basil when it’s time for it.
This also works for fresh sage and thyme, although we tend to grow those more.
And that’s it! Now there’s no excuse to adding some color and freshness to all your meals 😉