There’s nothing quite like the aromatic flavours that fresh herbs can add to your cooking. However, there’s also nothing as disappointing as a beautiful bunch of herbs going bad before you get to use them all up.
More often than not, we purchase fresh herbs by the bunch, but often a recipe only requires a small amount. Therefore, we need to give ourselves time to use the rest of the bunch before it becomes a mushy or wilted herb. By learning how to store your herbs, you can extend their lifespan and give yourself more opportunities to cook like a master chef.
There are two main types of herbs, soft herbs and hard herbs. Soft herbs include basil, coriander, parsley, mint, chives and dill. These are usually added fresh at the end of cooking to bring flavour and colour to a meal. Hard herbs include rosemary, bay leaves, thyme and sage. These are usually added during the cooking process as they can be more pungent than soft herbs.
The key to storing herbs in Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate is to create a closed humid environment and to save yourself time by pre-chopping and washing your herbs so that they are easier to use.
Discover four options for storing herbs – give them a go and see what works best for you and the types of herbs you cook with regularly.
- Wrap herbs in a slightly damp paper towel or tea towel. Wash and trim before wrapping and store in the fridge.
- Line a reusable container with a damp cloth and seal. Wash and trim first and store in the fridge.
- Standing up stalks of herbs in a glass of water with a reusable plastic bag over the top.
- Frozen in olive oil, in an ice-cube tray. Wash, trim and portion herbs into the individual ice-cube sections, pour oil over the top and freeze. This option works better with hard herbs, which are then ready for cooking once popped out of the tray.
As always, the best way to extend the lifespan of your herbs is to grow them yourself and snip them as you need. A herb garden is easy to set-up, cost effective and a great way to always have the flavours of the world at your fingertips.