Q&A: How to Store Fresh Herbs

Question and Answer with LaurenIt’s Wednesday- which means it’s Q&A time!

Based on last’s week response via e-mail, it seems like this is going to be a popular feature!

Our question this week comes from the lovely Laura at Feast Wisely.

Q. “What is the best way to store fresh herbs to keep them looking and tasting great for as long as possible?” 

A. Awesome question, Laura! There is nothing worse than to get a beautiful bouquet of fresh herbs, only to find them wilted when you are ready to use them.

To keep them as fresh as possible, start by sorting your herbs into two categories: hard and soft. Do not rinse or wash the herbs until you are ready to cook with them.

HARD HERBS: The herbs have woody stems: rosemary, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. You can also make an exception and include chives in this category.

To keep hard herbs fresh as long as possible, wrap them in a dampened paper towel and then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Not too tight- or else too much moisture will be sealed in. Store in your crisper until you’re ready to use. Alternatively, you can use a slightly damp kitchen towel and an airtight container.

SOFT HERBS: These herbs have tender stems: basil, parsley, cilantro, and tarragon.

Treat these herbs like a bouquet of flowers: Just trim the ends, place in a glass with about an inch of water, and wrap loosely with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Store in fridge.

An exception should be made for basil- it does not need to be wrapped after it’s been placed in water and is best left on the counter at room temperature. (The leaves will turn black if refrigerated). When the water gets cloudy- every day or two- it should be changed.

NOTES: If you save the airtight plastic containers that some herbs are packaged in at the grocery store, you can easily re-use these when storing herbs from your garden. Simply wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and seal shut.

Do you have a question for me? It can be about anything- cooking, clean eating, pantry organization- anything at all!

Send me an e-mail at theorganizedpantryblog@gmail.com or leave me a question in the comments section. Check back in next Wednesday to see if I’ve featured your question! 


2 thoughts on “Q&A: How to Store Fresh Herbs

  1. Feast Wisely says:

    Thanks – what an accurate and concise answer too and so helpful – I bought basil this morning and had already stuck in water before I read this – but then realised oh no it’s the fridge – thanks to you it’s now on the kitchen side ready for tomorrow’s pizza night!


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