i just brought home a big bunch of basil (with roots still attached) and cilantro (trimmed)... last time, the stuff died the next day. i''ve tried leaving them in the plastic bag in the fridge, putting them in a cup of water, etc. help! i need these to make it through the week! (or, at least the weekend )
I've had good luck trimming the bottom of the herbs about 1/4-1/2 inch, putting them in a jar of water (with only the very bottom of the trimmed part submerged) and then covered in a plastic bag and stored in the fridge. I've stored both basil and cilantro like this for weeks. However, if the roots on the basil look healthy, I'd skip trimming them and just keep them in water. I've kept basil that has sprouted roots in a vase on my kitchen counter for over a month.
the way an aunt of mine keeps her cilantro fresh is to loosely wrap it in a damp paper towel, put the whole thing inside of a paper lunch bag and then put that into a plastic bag that you'd get from the produce section of the grocery store - i'm talking about the bags you use to put that damp head of lettuce in before checking out. she's kept cilantro this way for weeks. i think one of the tricks is that the cilantro is dry before wrapping the paper towel around it. kind of crazy, but the results are great.
I have pretty good luck keeping herbs fresh in the fridge. Parsley and cilantro I put in mayonnaise jars filled with water and a plastic bag set loosely over them. These keep for several weeks if I remember to change the water often. For woody stemmed herbs like thyme I don't wrap the ends in a damp paper towel, but I put the damp paper towel inside a small zip lock baggie and I leave one end slightly open. These keep for a good long time, a month sometimes. Basil is harder, I've had luck for a week or so putting it in a bag with a wet towel too, damp rather, not wet. For herbs like tarragon or dill, I buy those in little plastic boxes and those will keep the herbs fresh for more than a week. I bet basil would keep well in those too.
ok, thanks for the advice...here's what i've done, a-la-6th-grade-science-project:
i did the cilantro as emily suggested, but i did the basil 4 different ways. i'm so paranoid about losing the whole yummy bunch again, that i split it up so as to possibly salvage some of it in case one method doesn't work:
- 1 bunch in a cup of water on my windowsill, roots on
- 1 bunch in a cup of water in the fridge, covered w/ a plastic baggie, roots on
- 1 bunch in a cup of water in the fridge, uncovered, roots on
- 1 bunch wrapped in damp paper towel in the crisper, trimmed
i'm sure there are more variations, but i just chose these for now. i'm curious to see which one will fare best. if they're all dead by tomorrow, then i guess it's just me
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