Kitchen tips: How to keep herbs fresh

I love having fresh Thai basil on hand for soups and stir-frys.  But if you stick them in the fridge and don’t use them within a few days, they tend to wilt and then I feel bad about wasting money.

A great way to keep Thai basil fresh is to treat it like a flower.  Cut off the ends of the stems and stick it in a glass of water.  Put the glass in an area that gets indirect sunlight, like your kitchen window sill, and ta-da!  Your herbs will stay fresh for days or even weeks.  I bought this bunch of basil last week and they are still perfect.

This technique is good for stalky herbs like Thai basil and mint.  If you’re lucky and the herbs do take root, pop the cutting into some moist dirt and you’ll soon have your very own basil or mint plant.  I did that myself last year when I had a patio to grow herbs.  I probably won’t attempt it this year because I don’t have outside space and Thai basil and mint don’t seem to do well indoors for long periods of time.

More fragile herbs such as parsley or cilantro need to be kept in the fridge.  To extend their fridge life, wash the herbs as soon as you bring them home and then let them dry in a strainer or salad spinner.  Cut off the ends of the stalks as well as any pieces that are starting to yellow.  Then, chop the herbs coarsely and pop them in a tupperware.  Now you have fresh, washed herbs to use at your leisure.  I did this with a bundle of cilantro three weeks ago, and I still have healthy, green cilantro left over.

Posted in: Food and Grocery

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