Fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients speak for themselves, loudly and playfully. That’s why I’m an herbal junkie. At home, we consume at least 3 bunches a week of fresh parsley, coriander and basil a week. In the spring and summer, dill and mint join the party. They are super nutrient- dense and make dishes like my Cucumber Tarragon Soup <hyperlink> fun, bright, and bursting with flavor. Best of all, they’re simple.
Dried herbs are often the highest-margin item in the grocery store, sometimes with up to a 70% markup. Hooey! Even worse, they are usually stored in a way that exposes them to heat and light, rendering them dull and dusty. They are downright boring compared to their living counterparts.
Store fresh herbs, washed and more or less air dried in a container as I mentioned here. I rinse, and rest my herbs on a tea towel. By the time I’m done processing my other greens and market haul, the herbs are dry enough to go in the fridge.
Follow the same method as in <hyperlink to How to Store Your Greens> with a damp cloth for storage. This works better than storing them upright in a glass of water or chucking them in the fridge drawer. The glass of water method, although the prettiest, makes the ends mushy and dries out the tips in the unforgiving fridge air.
If you plan to keep them for longer than 3 days, lay them in a moist bed with either a damp paper towel, muslin cloth or cloth napkin underneath or on top before you tuck them in for their cold fridge slumber. The moisture in the cloth acts a barrier and keeps them crisp, green and fresh for up to 7 days.
Have you got innovative storage methods or special ways of handling herbs up your sleeve? Chefs and cooks learn some of our most important tricks from colleagues and through practice. I’m keen to hear yours, so please share!