Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fresh Herbs and How To Store Them

.

.
One of the biggest ways to make a difference when you're cooking is to use fresh herbs instead of dried. Fresh herbs give your recipes a completely different, fresh quality. Most grocery stores carry good supplies of fresh herbs, but you need to know what to do with those herbs when you get them home. Your guests and family won't know what you're doing, but they will notice the difference in your cooking.
.
.

.
.
Different herbs demand different storage techniques.
.
Basil, Parsley, and Cilantro
.
A fresh bunch of basil can be treated like a bouquet of flowers: Just trim the ends, place in a glass with an inch or so of water, and place on the counter at room temperature. (The leaves will turn black if refrigerated). The basil will remain fresh for anywhere from a few days to a week. You can also try this with similar long-stemmed herbs like parsley and cilantro.
.
Chives, Thyme, and Rosemary
.
Other herbs, like chives, thyme, and rosemary, require a slightly different approach. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator; one of the compartments in the door works perfectly. Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture may cause them to mold prematurely; I like to add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard. Do not rinse the herbs until just before using.
.
How to Dry Fresh Herbs
.
If you have more fresh herbs than you can use, dry them. Place the leaves on a plate (chopped if using basil or parsley; whole if using thyme or rosemary) and set aside in a cool, dry place for several days. Then store them in a resealable container in the refrigerator.
.
When to Pitch Fresh Herbs
.
Fresh herbs are no longer fit to use and should be discarded when the leaves turn dark or brittle, or the stems begin to show traces of mold.
.

3 comments:

Punctuation Mark said...

i love this post... so useful! will retweet it!!! have a nice one!

annechovie said...

Very informative post, Sabina - thank you. Great to have you visit again. xx

Raru said...

this is very helpful.
thanks.

xoxo,
raru

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...