Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trouble keeping herbs fresh?

You aren't alone. I love using fresh herbs. I know the best way to keep them fresh is to grow them, but I don't have a green thumb. So instead, I buy fresh herbs with every intention of using them in the next day or so. Then life gets busy and plans are changed. The dinner that I thought I was making that I need the herbs for is moved to later in the week. By the time, I get back to making that recipe the herbs have gone bad. So I decided to find a way to make sure my herbs lasted until I could get around to making the recipe that called for them.

Two most common solutions to keeping herbs fresh.

  1. Make an herb bouquet.  Cut the stems and put them in a cool cup of water, and cover them lightly with a plastic bag keeping the bottom open to allow in fresh air. Then depending on what the herb is, place it in the door compartment of your fridge. The door strikes a good balance of being cooler then room temperature, but not too cold for most herbs. Mint and Basil are happier on a windowsill at room temperature. Cilantro and Parsley will do great in the fridge as they prefer cooler temperatures.

  2. Wrap the herbs. This option is great if you are worried about water dumping all over the place. You can wrap the herbs in a wet paper towel and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Be sure to check the paper towel every few days to make sure it hasn't dried out. You can also wrap the herbs in a clean damp kitchen towel for a greener solution. Place the wrapped herbs in the fridge. Not all herbs need to be as moist as others. Rosemary, Thyme and other more woody herbs will mold if too moist. A damp cloth or paper towel will work better than a wet one for them.
The idea is to keep them just moist enough that they stay vibrant and green instead of wilted and black. Once your herbs turn black, or the stems start to mold, it is time to throw them out. The above techniques extend the life of the herb from a few days to a bit over a week depending on how diligent you are in changing the water or monitoring the towel moisture.

If that still sounds pretty involved, we have a few different herb keepers that will streamline the process for you. 

RSVP Fresh Herb Keeper - 06-3121


You can buy these at cheftools.com.
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