Properly storing fresh herbs can help extend their shelf life and ensure that they remain fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
Here are some tips for storing fresh herbs:
- First, wash the herbs thoroughly and pat them dry with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.
- Next, remove any damaged or wilted leaves.
- If the herbs have a woody stem, such as rosemary or thyme, cut off about an inch from the bottom of the stem to help the herbs absorb more water.
- For herbs with a softer stem, such as parsley or cilantro, place them in a glass of water as you would with a bouquet of flowers.
- Cover the herbs with a plastic bag, making sure to leave some air in the bag to prevent the herbs from becoming too moist.
- Place the herbs in the refrigerator. Most herbs will last for about a week when stored this way.
- If you have a lot of herbs and want to store them for longer periods of time, you can also freeze them. To do this, wash and dry the herbs, then chop them finely and place them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of water. Once the water is frozen, transfer the herb cubes to a plastic bag and store them in the freezer.
- Another option for storing herbs is to dry them. This works best with woody herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Simply tie the herbs together with a string and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place until they are fully dry. Once they are dry, crumble the leaves and store them in an airtight container.
- If you have herbs that are past their prime and starting to wilt, you can also use them to make herbal infusions like tea or add them to soups and stocks to add flavor.
In summary, proper storage of fresh herbs involves washing and drying them, removing any damaged or wilted leaves, and storing them in the refrigerator or freezing them. You can also dry herbs to extend their shelf life. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your herbs stay fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.