Not only are fresh herbs an easy way to add flavour to any dish, they also provide your dish with a vibrant colour that makes your meal pop on the plate. Fresh herbs can pack a real punch and sometimes a little goes a long way. If your recipe only requires a small amount of your favourite herb, don’t let the rest of the bunch go to waste! Keep reading to find out the best way to store your fresh herbs to maximise their lifespan.
Wash BEFORE You Store
While we are all in the habit of washing our food before we eat it, herbs should be washed before you store them. No matter which herb you have on hand, be sure to wash it thoroughly before storing to help increase its longevity. Wash your herbs in cold water and swirl them around gently with your hands. Drain the water and lay the herbs onto some paper towels. Gently pat dry to remove any excess moisture.
Learn The Difference Between Hard & Soft Herbs
The characteristics of the stems and leaves of herbs can vary as much as the flavour of the herbs themselves. Most herbs can be classified as either hard or soft depending on these characteristics. Soft herbs include coriander, mint, parsley, dill and other herbs with tender stems and soft leaves. Hard herbs have hardy, wooden stems and include herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage and chives. Each herb type has preferences in the way it should be stored to maximise freshness.
Hard herbs are best stored by wrapping loosely in a damp paper towel. Store your herb bundle in an airtight container in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Hard herbs stored this way can last between 10-15 days.
Think of your soft herbs like fresh flowers! Trim the ends of the stems and place into a glass of fresh, cool water. Change the water every few days to ensure it remains fresh. Cover herbs loosely with a plastic bag and store in the fridge. Basil is the exception to this and should be stored at room temperature to avoid the leaves discolouring. Soft herbs should last 1-2 weeks stored this way.
Whether added to a stock, incorporated into a salad or used as a garnish, fresh herbs can elevate any dish and transform it into a real ‘wow’ meal. Be sure to utilize the above information next time you receive your bunch of fresh herbs to ensure they remain fresh for as long as possible.
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