Quick Tip: Making Fresh Herbs Last

The easiest way to extend the life of fresh herbs is to treat them like you would a vase of fresh flowers. This method preserves parsley to dill weed, cilantro to basil. Cut off a bit of the stems at an angle and stick them in a glass of water, filled just below where the growth starts. But in the case of herbs, you need to store them in the fridge. I very loosely drape a plastic produce bag over the top and crimp it shut with a snack bag clip. When moisture accumulates, I turn the bag inside-out, shake off the water, and cover the herbs with the dry side.

A new rosemary plant that replaced the one that didn’t make it through the winter.

A new rosemary plant that replaced the one that didn’t make it through the winter.

I plant rosemary and sage because they’re especially great autumn spices. At the end of the season (practically December some years), I trim the plants, leaving just enough to let them winter over safely. I store the rest and have fresh herbs that last me through the holidays.

This sage has been going strong for 5 years.

This sage has been going strong for 5 years.

Whatever sage I have left, I bind together with a rubber band and hang it to dry for a few weeks from a rafter in our furnace room. Then I remove it from the stems and crumble it into a spice jar to get me through until spring. It’s much better than even the best spice shop stuff I’ve ever bought because they don’t do as good of a job removing the stems. Sage goes great with a variety of winter squashes, as well as turkey, which works well because we love pumpkin stuff and I regularly make turkey and turkey soup for Michael.

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