Crisper-Clearing Recipes to Keep Your Leftovers From Languishing

January 19, 2018

Raise your hand if you’ve made a recipe that calls for "a handful" of parsley. Or bought a beautiful bunch of dill only to use a tablespoon. It’s fine to use just a little bit of an ingredient if it lasts forever (looking at you, honey), but I feel guilty every time I see a nub of ginger or wilting sprigs of thyme languishing in my crisper drawer. Sure, you can use leftovers to make vibrant green sauce, or freeze extra produce in an airtight bag for eventual vegetable stock. But I’d rather think of new ways to let my crisper contents shine, like bright smoothies, creamy potato salad, or savory muffins. Here, I’ve rounded up a variety of ways to use up leftover ginger, parsley, dill, and scallions—hopefully, my crisper will stop looking like a compost bin.


Fresh ginger lasts for about a month—just wrap it in a dry paper towel and place it in an open plastic bag in the fridge. Alternatively, you can store it submerged in sherry(!) or freeze and grate it (skin and all) with a Microplane.


Whole, fresh scallions last for up to two weeks in the crisper. Wrap the roots in a damp paper towel, then place them inside a plastic bag or container. You can also keep the roots in an inch or two of water on your windowsill or a shelf in the fridge.


Depending on the humidity of your fridge, parsley will last for up to two weeks in your fridge. To extend freshness, keep parsley wrapped in a damp towel.


Dill has a pretty short lifespan—only about a week and a half in the fridge. Avoid washing it and store similarly to parsley and scallions.

How do you clean out your crisper drawer? Share your favorite recipes and tricks in the comments!

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  • AntoniaJames
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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


AntoniaJames January 22, 2018
The dressing in this recipe is one of my favorite ways to use a lot of fresh dill: It's quite a good recipe all around, I might add. ;o)
M January 19, 2018
Leftovers recipes can be handy, or impractical if you're cooking for 1 or 2 and struggle to get through everything.

Scallions are easy because they can be added to almost any savoury dish you make -- topper for everything from soup to eggs, grilled as a side, put into a salad, etc.

For many of the rest, I like drying. It uses things up, saves money, and doesn't require you to have lots of mouths to feed. For ginger especially. Dry the root whole, and with a little spice microplane, you can have all the powdered ginger you'll ever need. It's one of the easiest dried spices to grate whole.

For misc herbs: Greek salads become ten times better when the lettuce is mixed with a lot of herb leaves, and remaining excess can be used in other elements like souvlaki marinades, tzatziki, etc.