Care and Use of Fresh Herbs

Most of herbs store well in the refrigerator for up to one week in a zip-top bag or small glass of water. To store herbs in a glass of water, trim the ends of the stems and place them in the water, being careful not to submerge the leaves in the water. Cover the top of the glass loosely with a plastic bag.

If you want to save your herbs for longer than a week, you can dry them or freeze them. To dry herbs, hang the stems upside down in a warm, dry place until the leaves are completely dry. Then remove the leaves from the stems and store the dried leaves in an air-tight container away from sunlight and heat. Another option for drying herbs is to use a food dehydrator or the oven. Spread the herbs out in a single layer on top of a paper towel on a cookie sheet, and dry for 3­–4 hours in a 180° oven with the door slightly ajar. Freeze herbs by chopping them and blending them with a little bit of water or olive oil, and placing mixture in ice cube trays. Once the herb cubes are frozen, store them in a freezer bag. This method works especially well for herbs that do not retain good flavor when dried, such as basil.