Storing Fresh Herbs Like This Will Increase Their Shelf Life

  • By Jess Dang
  • August 29, 2012

It’s looking like “Herb Week” over here at CS HQ. On Monday, we featured a quick herb sauce that can be used to dress up any routine weeknight dish, and today we’re going to share the best way to store herbs. Store herbs correctly and they’ll go from a few days of shelf-life to a few weeks. It will require a few additional minutes of prep time when you return home from the store but this small extra effort ensures that many more salsas, pestos, and sauces are in your future. How-to instructions available below + a video.

How to Store Fresh Herbs

  1. When you return home from the market with your bright green bunches of cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, green onions, chervil, etc., give them a good clean and rinse. This way, you can wash all your herbs in one go and just once during their lifetime. I leave the colander in my salad spinner, fill it with cold water, give the herbs a few swirls in the water so any residual dirt and sediment sink to the bottom, and then lift the colander up. Shake the colander so any remaining water comes off. Let the herbs sit in the colander to dry for a few minutes
  2. Now we’re going to “plant” our herbs in whatever jars you have that will fit the bunches well. I use old jam and condiment jars that have been cleaned in a dishwasher. Fill the jars about 1/3 to halfway with water and then place herbs stem-down in the water. If you’re “planting” green onions, snip off the ends first
How to store herbs for longer lifetime | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang
  1. Cover the jars with a plastic bag. I use the same plastic bags I fill with produce at the grocery store. Press out any remaining air and take a rubber band to enclose the bag around the jar
How to store herbs for longer lifetime | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang
  1. Now store in the fridge
  2. When you need some of herbs, un-bag, and tear off what you need (remember, no need to clean again!). Re-bag and re-rubber band. Herbs will keep for several weeks. If the water gets too murky, just pour it out and change it for some fresh water

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