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Wrap loosely with moist BUT not wet paper towels, store in a plastic container. Do not crowd, rotate in and out as needed. FIFO - first in, first out.
Store stronger smelling herbs together, or if you use the same container/bin, place a clean kitchen towel separating.
Things like basil, parsley and cilantro (basil especially) will be very happy if you treat them like cut flowers. Cut a small amount off of the stem ends, and then plop the bunch (take off any bands or twistie ties) into a tall glass of water. Basil will live perfectly happily on your counter if your kitchen is cool (and may even sprout new roots). Cilantro and parsley (and other "soft" herbs...tarragon, sage) prefer to be covered loosely with a plastic bag and put into the fridge. They'll last this way for at least a week.
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I completely agree with "cut flowers" approach. In a way they are cut flowers. That' exactly what I would do.
Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.
I agree with RobertaJ. The one exception is basil. I learned a trick wiring in a Thai restaurant. You wash, dry and stem the basil. Then just keep the leaves in a rolled-down paper bag in the fridge.The paper allows them to stay fresh and excess moisture can escape. They will last up to 5 days. They won't be perfect but I always end up using more since it is ready to throw into a recipe as opposed to having to stem and wash and dry.
Trim the bottoms of 2 bunches of parsley (flat or curly). Soak 20 minutes in ample cold water to hydrate fully, then put in a glass or vase with water to cover stems and leave on the counter to dry. Pull off leaves, discard stems or save for stocks, broths or stews. Pulse dry leaves in the food processor until chopped as you like. Funnel into a jar (3-Liter spaghetti sauce jar works well). Cover the top with foil and poke about ten holes in it with a toothpick. This makes about two full cups of chopped herbs, and they last a surprisingly long time, two weeks or more in the fridgidiedar. Mix with equal volumes of sardines, mayonnaise, lemon juice, fresh ground pepper. Serve on brown bread with cream cheese. um
I bought some herb savers that preserve them up to 3 or 4 weeks! They have a well for water in the bottom and a tight lid on top. You can find them at bed bath and beyond, target, world market, or sometimes the dollar store. I highly recommend - my farmer's market dill from 2 weeks ago is completely fresh.
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