What Do I Do with This: A Primer on Fresh Herbs

Kieran McCourt, Weavers Way Ambler

Two categories: soft (basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, tarragon) & hardy (rosemary, sage, thyme)

Once they’re home: wash & lay them out on paper towels or a clean dish towel until they’re dry. or put them through a salad spinner.

Storage (soft herbs): trim the stems, put them in a glass jar in an inch of water, & stick in the fridge (change the water every few days).

  • to avoid spilled water, put them in a quart-sized container w/a lid

To store parsley, cilantro, mint, etc., place in a zippered plastic bag w/a dry paper towel

  • for rosemary, sage, and hardier herbs, use a damp paper towel

Preserving Your Fresh Herb Bounty:

  • Make a salt mixture: Four parts herbs: 1 part salt — keeps in a clean, sterilized jar in the fridge for a couple months
  • Hang herbs with a piece of twine & dry them: works best with sage, rosemary, oregano
  • Make an infused oil: heat a neutral oil (grapeseed, extra light olive), add chopped herbs, then strain the mixture before storing
  • Freeze chopped herbs in an ice cube tray and pour oil over them. They take a day to freeze, and then are ready for use in soups or sautees. (Store them in zippered bags in the freezer.)
  • Make an herb-infused vinegar Works well with stronger-tasting herbs (thyme, chives, rosemary, sage)
  • Make an herbal “salsa verde” with assorted herbs, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It makes a great coating for meats or roasted potatoes.

Never put basil in the fridge — it will discolor!