Learning how to store fresh herbs properly will save you time and money!
Delicate herbs, like parsley, tarragon, dill, chives, or cilantro, can be kept in the fridge, but they need to be protected. I like to trim the base of the stems about 1 inch back, remove the elastic or twist tie, and stand the bouquet of herbs in a glass of water, just like you would with fresh cut flowers. Take the plastic bag that the herbs came in and place it loosely over the fresh herbs. The bag will create a green house environment, trapping in moisture so the herbs don’t dry out and become limp. Storing delicate herbs this way will keep them fresh for 1-2 weeks depending on your fridge. Make sure to change the water every few days.
Woody herbs, like bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, curry leaf, and sage, can be stored in an airtight container. If you have a bunch, loosen the bunch so air can circulate and lay on a piece on paper towel of absorb any moisture. Woody herbs also freeze well. Simply place them in an airtight container and they’ll keep in the freezer for a few months.
Basil is a tricky one. It doesn’t like extreme temperatures. The best way to store basil is how most fresh markets keep them. Stand the bunch of basil in a glass of water like flowers, cover loosely with a plastic bag, and store at room temperature. It won’t last long so use it up quick. Try a little basil in this herb dip; it tastes fantastic with chips.
To Clean Fresh Herbs:
- Plunge herbs into a clean sink, bowl, or spinner filled with cold water, swish around to loosen the dirt, and drain. You may have to change the water a few times, depending on how sandy the herbs are.
- Place washed herbs in a salad spinner and spin dry or blot with a paper towel.