The Best Way to Store Herbs

Different herbs demand different storage techniques.

Basil, Parsley, and Cilantro

A fresh bunch of basil can be treated like a bouquet offlowers: Just trim the ends, place in a glass with an inch or so of water, andplace on the counter at room temperature. (The leaves will turn black ifrefrigerated). The basil will remain fresh for anywhere from a few days to aweek. You can also try this with similar long-stemmed herbs like parsley andcilantro.

Chives, Thyme, and Rosemary

Other herbs, like chives, thyme, and rosemary, require aslightly different approach. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and place themin the warmest part of the refrigerator; one of the compartments in the doorworks perfectly. Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture maycause them to mold prematurely; many people like to add a crumpled paper towelto 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 usingthyme or rosemary) and set aside in a cool, dry place for several days. Thenstore them in a resealable container in the refrigerator.

When to Pitch Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are no longer fit to use and should be discardedwhen the leaves turn dark or brittle, or the stems begin to show traces ofmold.

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