How to Store Herbs: The Ultimate Guide April 17, 2018
To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? Glass of water on the counter? Just what is the best way to store herbs? It’s time to set the record straight.
Fresh herbs are absolutely amazing at lifting a dish. From a sprig of coriander atop a stir fry to basil on a pizza, herbs elevate the flavour of a meal to heavenly heights. Unfortunately, they are delicate little beasties. Print this out and stick it to your fridge because our ultimate guide for how to store herbs is going to save your bacon. Or, err, your herbs. You know what we mean.
When it comes to herby perfection, just think in threes!
1. Green herbs
Think: parsley, mint, dill, oregano, coriander & tarragon
- Lay out the herbs, making sure they’re dry. Then take a damp clean dish cloth (chefs use paper towel too but we think that’s a bit too delicate for opening and resealing). Place the herbs inside and roll up the herbs within the wet cloth, making sure they’re completely covered. Place in a zip lock bag and refrigerate. Wet the cloth when it dries out and keep away from the very coldest part of the fridge – the back – and this method should keep your herbs looking A-OK for two weeks.
- Keep in fridge, away from the coldest section. The crisper is far too cold for the delicate leaves of green herbs.
Pssst… confused about the difference between parsley and coriander?
- Parsley tends to be a slightly darker green, while coriander is lighter in colour.
- Rubbing a parsley leaf between your fingers will reveal a grassy smell. Its leaves are hardy.
- Rubbing a coriander leaf between your fingers reveals a strong scent, that can almost seem soapy to some people. Its leaves are more delicate and can bruise easily.
- Parsley has branches coming from its main stems which end in leaves.
- Coriander leaves grow directly from the stem.
- Remember: P is for Parsley and Pointy Leaves, C is for Coriander and Curved leaf edges.
2. Woody herbs
Think: thyme, rosemary & sage
• Woody herbs are a bit more hardy. To keep them fresh, lay them out on a dry dish cloth (we don’t want to introduce too much moisture), roll up in the cloth and store in a plastic sandwich bag in the fridge. This method should get you 2 -3 weeks of beautiful fresh rosemary or similar.
•Keep them in a cool, dry place and allow to dry out for long lasting flavour additives.
Yep, this cool Italian guy gets his own category!
- Store basil in a few inches of water in a jar or a glass. Cover with a plastic sandwich bag and store out of direct sunlight. This method should keep basil fresh for two weeks, and prevents the leaves from blackening (which can sometimes happen in a too-cold fridge).
- Store in a cool, dry place, but never the fridge.
Still haven’t used up all your fresh herbs? If the little green guys are looking worse for wear, you can squeeze even more life out of them. Using any wilting herbs, simply blend in a food processor with a few tablespoons of olive oil, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then, pop in a few cubes to your pan when you’re looking for a herby hit in your dinner. To make pesto, simply toss in some pine nuts (or any nut really), some Parmesan cheese, a clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and follow the same process.
Check out our easy to follow video for the full technique!