Besides salt and pepper, herbs are a staple in the kitchen. A dish without a few fresh herbs would simply be incomplete. They can even be used in desserts (hello there, lemon thyme tart!). But how often do you buy fresh herbs with the intention of using them in a dish, only to be greeted by sad-looking leaves a few days later. To avoid this, you need to store them correctly. In this way, you will always have some on hand.
The first step in making sure your herbs last as long as possible, is to use the freshest ones you have on hand. Toss any leaves that are wilted or yellow, and make sure you rinse and dry them properly.
To make fresh herbs last a little longer, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel, and place them inside a resealable plastic bag. Make sure you press out as much air as possible and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. This method works best for herbs like rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and oregano.
You can also store them in a glass of water. This works especially great for herbs like parsley, coriander, and mint. Simply place the herbs in a glass with about an inch of water, and cover with plastic wrap. They will last up to two weeks!
Don’t place your herbs too far back in the refrigerator, as they are more likely to freeze.
Chop up fresh herbs and place them in the empty compartments of an ice cube tray. Pour water into each compartment and freeze. Take the cubes out as you need. Make mint cubes for beverages, or oregano and basil herbs for pastas. You can also use olive oil instead of water!
Another method is to freeze the herbs without using oil or water. Simply remove the leaves, lay them flat on a baking sheet, and pop into the freezer. Once the leaves are frozen, you can add them to a Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer.
Dry herbs can be stored in the pantry for quite some time. To dry herbs yourself, simply hang a bunch of fresh herbs upside down in an airy room for about a week. You can also dry herbs in the oven. Simply spread the herb leaves on a baking sheet and dry them at 100°C (or 212°F) for 3 hours. If you want the quickest way, though, you can dry them in the microwave. Place the herbs between two layers of towel paper, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. If they’re not dry yet, microwave them further in 30-second increments until dry and brittle.
Crumple the dried leaves in a glass jar and seal tightly. They will keep for up to a year!