Our ultimate goal is to have our own little herb garden on the kitchen windowsill. In the meantime we are buying our fresh herbs already cut from farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. One thing that I’ve noticed is that a week after we buy them and coincidentally find yet another use for them, I pull them out of the fridge only to find they are turning yellow, spotty and slimy.
How disappointing! So, I have been playing around with several different ways to get our herbs to last a little bit longer. I’ve figured out a two phase plan to improve the longevity of your valued fresh herbs. It actually works! I’ve devised a way to make a bunch of cilantro or parsley last up to three weeks, requiring only a tad bit of care.
The first thing that I do when we get home from the store is unwrap the bundle of herbs and cut off the bottom inch or so to make a little herb bouquet. Don’t worry if they look a little limp at first, once they start taking up water they will perk right up and look beautiful. When the bouquet is cut and ready, I place the fresh herbs in a mason jar with about 3 inches of cold water at the bottom. Make sure to change the water out when it starts turning colors, usually every 3 to 4 days. It lasts, sitting on your counter, up to a week and a half in all its vibrant glory.
Make sure to place the mason jar in a prime spot on the kitchen counter to enjoy the look and smell of your fresh herbs.
Once the herbs start to yellow and wilt its time for phase 2. We can still get more than a week out of the remaining green strands at this point!
Take the whole bunch of herbs out of the mason jar and wash them in a colander. I run water over the herbs and pick out any overly-wilted leaves that don’t look appetizing
Trim off the bottom inch yet again and stick them in this nifty thing called The Herb Keeper
from a company called Progressive.
The herb keeper is a tube that opens at the bottom and the top. You unscrew the bottom quarter of the tube and fill it up with water to the dotted line. Screw the bottom part back onto the tube. You then place the herbs in the tube and place the removable top back on so it keeps them chilled and damp. Place the tube in the door of your fridge for at least another week of gorgeous herbs.
Why should you try this at home? Because, these two phases allow you to buy herbs and actually use all of them! I’ve gone from throwing away a bunch of cilantro, parsley, oregano, thyme, and rosemary every week to being able to use the same bunch of herbs for three weeks in a row till they’re almost all gone and then compost the minimal remainder. I feel much better about this efficient and simple way of helping even the smallest things thrive.