Fresh herbs are great at adding flavour, but no one likes it when the remainder of the bunch ends up sad and wilted at the bottom of the fridge. Luckily, it’s easier than you think to keep herbs for longer.
How to keep herbs like mint, parsley and dill fresh in the fridge
Not only are fresh herbs delicious, but they’re also not cheap! So it makes sense to keep them going as long as possible so you can enjoy them in more meals.
1. Rinse under cold water
Rinsing under cold water refreshes the herbs after their long journey getting to your kitchen and perks them up ready to add a big hit of flavour to your meal. Giving them a quick wash also gives you a chance to remove any unwanted hitchhikers that may have come along for the ride.
2. Gently pat or spin dry
Drying off the herbs after their bath will allow them to stay fresh without wilting. Either pat them gently with a paper towel, being careful not to damage them, or give them a whirl in your salad spinner.
3. Wrap with a clean wet cloth
Wrapping your herbs with a clean wet cloth is a professional tip that’s easy to copy in a home kitchen. Use new pieces of cloth to gently roll your herbs into a little green bouquet.
4. Put in a container of water
Another tip from the professionals: Store your little bunches of herbs together in a shallow container with a small amount of water in the bottom in the fridge. This will keep them much fresher than just throwing them into the bottom drawer.
5. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days
We all know that fresh is best but after 2-3 days your herbs will probably be looking a little droopy. But there are ways to use these babies up without throwing them out!
More ways to store fresh herbs after 3 days:
1. Make a herb butter
While Coskun advises against freezing fresh herbs alone as they tend to lose their flavour, freezing them in oil or butter is a great alternative.
Just chop the herbs and place into some good quality olive oil and place into a spare ice tray. Or for a great steak accompaniment, mix your chopped herbs into soft butter and roll into a sausage shape – store this in the freezer and slice off rounds anytime you need it. These little frozen gems can then be popped straight into a frying pan next time you go to cook, saving you time and money!
2. Dry them in the sun
These herbs can be dried easily if left out in the sun for a week or so, then keep in an airtight jar in the pantry.
3. Add them to ice-cubes for party drinks
If you’re wanting to spice up your afternoon cocktail game and save money on herbs, infused ice-cubes could be a game-changer. Herbs like mint, thyme and rosemary are great candidates to add to summer drinks.
4. Make pesto
Making pesto may seem like a fancy and complicated undertaking but it really couldn’t be simpler, and takes just a few ingredients and either a mortar and pestle or a blender.
Mix the herbs of your choice (try basil for a traditional Italian flavour) with a handful of pine nuts, parmesan cheese, a clove of garlic with a large glug of olive oil and blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Before you know it you’ve got delicious homemade pesto ready to stir through pasta, spread on crackers – or just eat from the jar, we won’t judge!
Originally published as How to store mint, parsley and other fresh herbs by Erinna Giblin.