Preserving and storing fresh herbs so they last longer cuts down on waste, of course.
But these practices also serve as a big blessing to your future self when some recipe calls for the odd bunch of basil, dill, or parsley and you have completely forgotten to put some in the grocery cart.
Below we look at some of the best ways you can store fresh herbs. How you store your fresh herbs can make a huge difference in how long they last. The best place to store your herbs is on the plant, but if you cannot grow your own, try these tricks.
To preserve the fresh taste of herbs, freezing is an easy, safe, and tasty method. Experts reveal that bacteria need a temperature between 4 and 60 degrees Celsius to grow, so the best way to keep food safe and bacteria-free is by freezing or refrigerating it.
They also reveal that it does not destroy any bacteria that are present but at least they are in a dormant state.
Dry them out
Probably the easiest and most familiar way to preserve herbs is to dry them. This method works best for tougher, woodier herbs with a relatively low moisture content – like rosemary, oregano, and thyme.
Simply cut long stems and collect them into a loose bundle secured at the end with thread. Hang the bundle upside down until it’s completely dry, then remove the stems and store the dried foliage in an air-tight container.
Herb-infused vinegar is nothing new, but it is an easy way to preserve the flavour of your herbs for long periods of time and makes a lovely gift.
The trick is to start with a lighter vinegar such as champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar, or other light-hued vinegar.
Use well-cleaned glass canning jars and a handful of herbs. Divide sprigs equally between the jars, and then pour vinegar over the sprigs. Screw on lids and store them in a cool, dark place for a month or so.
When you are ready to use, strain the vinegar through a cloth to remove any remains. Pour vinegar into glass bottles and add a decorative sprig or two if you like. These kinds of vinegar make great salad dressings and marinades and will keep indefinitely.
Preparing herbed butter is an easy do-it-yourself way to preserve fresh herbs so that they are ready to be used for sautéing, spreading, or stuffing. Herbed butter is easy to make but feels utterly luxurious.
To preserve herbs in butter, use either salted or unsalted butter – it is a matter of personal preference. Begin by rinsing the herbs, then let them dry completely, and once dry, separate the leaves from the stems.
While the herbs are drying, leave the butter at room temperature so that it softens.