The Best Way to Store Herbs
Different herbs demand different storage techniques.
By Renee Schettler & Gregor Halenda
Basil, Parsley, and Cilantro
A fresh bunch of basil can be treated like a bouquet of flowers: Just trim the ends, place in a glass with an inch or so of water, and place on the counter at room temperature. (The leaves will turn black if refrigerated). The basil will remain fresh for anywhere from a few days to a week. You can also try this with similar long-stemmed herbs like parsley and cilantro.
Chives, Thyme, and Rosemary
Other herbs, like chives, thyme, and rosemary, require a slightly different approach. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator; one of the compartments in the door works perfectly. Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture may cause them to mold prematurely; many people like to add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard. Do not rinse the herbs until just before using.
How to Dry Fresh Herbs
If you have more fresh herbs than you can use, dry them. Place the leaves on a plate (chopped if using basil or parsley; whole if using thyme or rosemary) and set aside in a cool, dry place for several days. Then store them in a resealable container in the refrigerator.
When to Pitch Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs are no longer fit to use and should be discarded when the leaves turn dark or brittle, or the stems begin to show traces of mold.
How to plant herb containers/planters
- Buy beautiful containers, you do not need to spend a lot of money…Home Goods, Goodwill, yard sales and consignment stores are all good place to look for containers
- Buy good soil with plant food in it, herbs and sheet moss
- Add rocks to the bottom of the container
- Add your soil and plants and top with sheet moss
- Water and enjoy!!!!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 small clove garlic, crushed
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 5 ounces store-bought herb salad mix (6 cups)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup broken pita chips
- 2 ounces Feta, crumbled (1/2 cup)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
Add the lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, pita chips, and Feta and toss to coat. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper.
David Lebovitz’s Herb Rub
Makes 1 small jar
A very large bunch of fresh sage, two to three times as much as the rosemary
A large bunch of rosemary
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt
1. Pick the leaves off the sage and rosemary stalks. In a small food processor, chop up the herbs with the garlic cloves and salt until the mixture is pretty fine. Discard any sticks or seeds.
2. Spread the herb mixture on a baking sheet and let it dry for about three days. Once dry, store your herb in a tightly-sealed in a jar for up to a year.
Herb Potato Salad
- 3 pounds small white boiling potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons good dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup good olive oil
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm.