Simple Tips To Make Your Fresh Herbs Last Longer.

Simple Tips To Make Your Fresh Herbs Last Longer.
Simple Tips To Make Your Fresh Herbs Last Longer.

Spring is just around the corner (even though it still feels like winter and it’s going to snow again today…sigh.) The birds are starting to chirp a little louder, store windows are displaying the colorful shades of the new season, and a whole new array of in season fruits and vegetables will be coming to a farmers market near you.

In season produce tastes so much more flavorful and when you add fresh herbs to that mix, the play of flavors intensifies and explodes! I love putting fresh herbs in my dishes. They lend a stronger, purer taste than their dried counterparts and they accent your meals with an amazing bright green splash of color. Remember, we eat with our eyes first.

So now you’re all excited about buying that large, beautiful, bright green bunch of parsley that’s staring you down. However, the horrors of what you have found in your refrigerator 3 days after your purchase come to mind. That gorgeous bushel of greens that you remembered started to turn brown and slimy only days after its emerald leaves danced over

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your sweet potato stew.

The truth is we can’t buy just a few springs of parsley or basil. They come in large bunches and unless we’re cooking enough for 50 people, we’re most likely not going to use it all up in a few days. But don’t fret, because there is a solution to make your fresh herbs last and give you a hell of a lot more bang for your buck.

 

For herbs such as cilantro, parsley and basil, treat them as you would flowers. They are after all plants. Here’s what to do:

PRESERVING CILANTRO AND PARSLEY:

  1. Take the herbs out of the plastic bag, if you’ve used one, and cut about 1/4″ – 1/2″ off the stems
  2. Remove any string or wrap holding the herbs together
  3. Fill a glass or small jar with water and place herbs in it
  4. Keep glass in the refrigerator. Herbs will keep for about 2 weeks this way.

 

PRESERVING BASIL:

  1. Take the herbs out of plastic bag or container and cut about 1/4″ – 1/2″ off the stems
  2. Remove any string or wrap holding the herbs together
  3. Fill a glass or small jar
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    with water and place herbs in it. For basil, you might need to use a shorter glass than for cilantro and parsley which have longer stems
  4. Keep glass out on the counter or in front of a window. Basil tends to turn black quicker if kept in cold conditions, so don’t keep in the refrigerator

 

*BONUS TIP: Another quick way to use large amounts of leftover fresh herbs is to blend them with some olive oil, garlic, nuts (pine nuts, almonds, walnuts), and a little sea salt and pepper to make a quick pesto and store in the freezer for future use. Store in a container or in ice trays to help with portioning out just what you want to use.