Having fresh herbs on hand to liven up a dish is a kitchen essential. Adding handfuls of mint, coriander and basil to a curry can take it to the next level. Just picked oregano in a Greek salad adds a lighter flavour than the traditional dried and lavender and mint muddled together with sugar syrup makes a great base for sodas and cocktails. But there’s nothing more frustrating than buying a lush bunch of fresh herbs only to see it wilt and die the next day.
Here’s our sure fire, step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your herbs by ensuring they last as long as possible.
Preparing your herbs for storage
- Remove them from the packaging as soon as you get them home (skip this step if you’re lucky enough to have your own herb garden).
- Place the herbs in a colander and rinse under cold water to wash away any debris or chemicals.
- Remove as much moisture as possible, either by patting dry with paper towel or drying in a salad spinner.
Storing your herbs
If your herbs are woody (rosemary, thyme, sage etc.)
Arrange in bunch and wrap in damp paper towel. Either wrap tightly in plastic film, or place in a zip lock bag. Store them in the fruit and vegetable compartment of your refrigerator. Your herbs should last around 3 weeks.
If your herbs are tender (parsley, coriander, dill etc.)
Snip any dry ends from the herbs and place in a storage jar with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Place a plastic bag over the top and secure at the base of the jar with a rubber band. Store standing up in your refrigerator. Your herbs should last 2-3 weeks.
Basil likes to be stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Snip the ends and place in a storage jar with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Find a nice home for it on your bench top and enjoy. Kept like this your basil should last 1-2 weeks.
NB: Like all perishable items, the fresher your produce is when you buy it, the longer it will last. So always buy from a fresh food market or trusted grocer. Or better yet, grow your own!