Storing Fresh Herbs
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Dawn Szuhai
Posted on: April 11, 2004

When you purchase fresh culinary herbs from the supermarket, in general, what is the best way to store them and how long do they last?

Firstly, let me say that the length of time they will last somewhat depends on the condition you bought them in. Next, it depends on the type of herb it is. Some of the softer stem herbs such as cilantro, basil and dill go bad more quickly than the woody stem herbs such as thyme and rosemary. In between seem to be herbs like parsley and sage.

Refrigerate herbs loosely in a plastic bag. Remove any discoloured or slimy leaves; remove elastic or twist tie from stems. Wash herbs when ready to use. Use a salad spinner to dry, then wrap in paper towel (should be slightly damp) and place in a plastic bag (store what you do not use in this manner). The woody stem herbs will keep for at least a week this way, others for a couple of days. Check every now and then; remove any darkened or discoloured leaves. If you don’t think you will use the herbs before they go bad, considering freezing or drying them. (Sept. 8, Feb. 18) or making into oils, vinegars (Sept. 22) and butters. Try storing soft stem herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill, parsley in a jar with a little water; cover with plastic bag, secure bag with an elastic around the bottom.

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