How to store fresh herbs
Knowing how to store fresh herbs can make a big difference to the quality of flavours in your cooking.
I love cooking with fresh herbs. Luckily, I have quite a selection of herbs growing in my garden. Italian parsley, mint, rosemary, basil (seasonal), sage and even a bay leaf tree.
Fresh herbs are an absolute must in my cooking. Flavours are intense, fresh and they add that little bit of something special to every dish. Not to mention that the herbs have amazing health benefits as well.
Storing to keep flavour
It goes without saying that the key to keeping herbs fresh after picking can make a difference to their shelf life and keeps the flavours intense for future use. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some point where we’ve purchased or picked fresh herbs, placed them in the fridge only to find that they’ve wilted, lost their flavour by the next day and perhaps even died before we were able to use them.
Well, thanks to this tip given to me by my mother, I now have the formula for keeping my freshly cut herbs especially crispy and lasting longer. In fact, they keep significantly longer than usual. Somewhere between 2-3 weeks in the fridge seems to be the lifespan.
Wash or not to wash?
There have been debates on whether or not it is best to wash herbs before storing or to wait until they are ready to use.
I tend to be pro unwashed herbs. YEP, hear me out! Having tried both methods, observation has lead me to store my herbs unwashed purely because they last a little longer and maintain their freshness better than pre-washed. Surprisingly, I have found that pre-washing herbs tends to discolour the leaves quicker and the herbs lose their firmness.
This method works well for soft herbs. Soft herbs include basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and coriander.
- Take a paper towel and run it under some cold water
- Squeeze out any excess water from the towel and place it on the bottom of an airtight container. You may wish to use a plastic lunch box or take-out container
- Place the herbs onto the dampened towel and place another damp towel on the top and secure the lid.
Similarly, I use the same process for any hard herbs such as rosemary, thyme, chives, sage and oregano. However, instead of placing the herbs onto a damp paper towel, use a dry towel and place into an air tight container. This should extend their shelf life for up to 2 weeks.
Enjoy the longer lasting fresh herbs and make fresh Salsa Verde to your hearts content.
For more tips, check out my “How to buy fresh Seafood” post! It’ll help you ensure you buy quality fish every time.