Best Ways to Preserve Fresh Herbs

PPhoebe October 15, 2023 4:41 PM

If you've ever bought or grown fresh herbs, you know how quickly they can wilt or brown. Nothing beats the flavor of fresh herbs in your cooking, but how do you keep them fresh longer? Let's dive into the best ways to preserve fresh herbs.

Storing Fresh Herbs

Most fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, and cilantro, prefer a humid environment. To create this:

  1. Trim the ends of the stems.
  2. Fill a glass or jar with water.
  3. Place the herbs stem-end down in the water.
  4. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.

Dry herbs, like rosemary and thyme, should be wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a sealed bag in the refrigerator.

Freezing Fresh Herbs

Freezing is a great option for preserving the flavor of most herbs. There are two main methods:

Ice Cube Method

  1. Chop the herbs finely.
  2. Divide the herbs among the compartments of an ice cube tray.
  3. Fill each compartment with water or stock, then freeze.

Flat Freezing

  1. Spread the herbs in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag.

Drying Fresh Herbs

Hang drying is a traditional method used for herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano:

  1. Gather the herbs into small bundles and tie the stems together.
  2. Hang the bundles upside down in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area.
  3. Once fully dry, store the herbs in an airtight container.

You can also speed up the process by using a dehydrator or an oven set to the lowest temperature.

Preserving Herbs in Oil, Salt, or Vinegar

Another fantastic way to preserve herbs is by submerging them in a preserving medium like oil, salt, or vinegar. This not only preserves the herbs but also infuses the medium with their flavor.

Special Tips for Specific Herbs

Some herbs require special care for the best preservation:

  • Basil: Best stored at room temperature in water.
  • Parsley and Cilantro: Store in water in the refrigerator.
  • Mint: Can be stored like parsley and cilantro, but also dries well.
  • Rosemary and Thyme: Store in a damp paper towel in the fridge, or dry.
  • Dill: Can be stored like parsley and cilantro, or frozen in oil.

Don't let your fresh herbs go to waste.

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