Some of our favorite ingredients in the kitchen are fresh herbs, which we use in dishes like this Spring Herbs Soup with Fregola and Pancetta and sauces like Pesto and Chimichurri. However, they may deteriorate rapidly and leave you with a bag of green mush if you’re not cautious. By properly storing fresh herbs, you may prolong their freshness and prevent food and money waste. To ensure that your herbs are always fresh and ready to use in all of your favorite recipes, follow these instructions. 

How to preserve delicate, leafy herbs such as basil, chives, dill, parsley, and cilantro

Because they wilt quickly, fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, mint, and basil may be difficult to store. A little glass of water is all it takes to preserve tender, fresh herbs.

To preserve the life of your herbs, first give them a thorough cleaning and prep. To allow the herbs to air, remove the rubber band or twist tie that is keeping the herbs in bunches. After that, carefully shake off any dirt by running them under the faucet. Dry the herbs using a salad spinner or a fresh dish towel once they’ve been cleaned. To stop the accumulation of dirt and germs on the surface, be sure to drain as much water as you can. 

After thoroughly cleaning and drying your herbs, cut off the bottom half inch of the stems and collect them into little bundles. Make sure that none of the leaves contact the water when you place them upright in a jar or other container that has one to two inches of water in it. After assembling your bouquet, cover the leaves with a transparent plastic bag. Keep mint, dill, cilantro, parsley, and chives refrigerated. The ideal place to store basil is on the counter, but it should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid heating up.

Your herbs will keep fresher for weeks rather than just a few days if you use this bouquet approach. The water’s wetness helps replenish and hydrate the herbs, keeping them from withering too fast. 

The ideal way to preserve harder herbs such as oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme

Hardier herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme, have a little more flexibility and do not dry up as quickly as the soft herbs. 

Harder herbs can last longer in the fridge if you wrap them loosely in a moist paper towel and put them in a firmly sealed container or reusable bag. This will keep oxygen out and prevent the herbs’ leaves from drooping. Harder herbs may also be kept fresh with a glass of water. Remember to remoisten the paper towels as soon as they start to dry. 

Fresh herbs may last up to two or three weeks if they are stored correctly. To maximize these ideas and control moisture levels, think about splitting your herbs into smaller portions and keeping them in different storage locations.

To extend the shelf life of herbs, freeze them or dry them.

Freeze or dehydrate herbs to extend their shelf life. Hardy herbs may be frozen by wrapping them in a moist paper towel and putting them in a freezer bag that can be sealed and labeled. Smaller portions may also be portioned out, wrapped in plastic wrap, and kept in a freezer bag until needed. 

Blend more delicate herbs with a few teaspoons of water or oil, then freeze the combination in a frozen bag or ice cube tray. You may enjoy the flavor of summer gardens even in the dead of winter with these frozen herbs, which keep well in the freezer for many months. 

Tie three or four stems of the herb together with kitchen thread to dry it. (If the bunches are too big, there won’t be enough airflow to allow for thorough drying, and mold may develop.) After the herbs are completely dry, which should take one to two weeks, hang them in a cool, dark spot away from the sun.