The major perk of adding fresh herbs to a dish is infusing freshness and flavor into the meal. Keeping herbs fresh for as long as possible will allow you to continue making showstopping dishes for days—even weeks!—at a time. Fresh herbs are delicate and easily damaged by extreme temperatures, but proper storage of fresh herbs can keep your basil vibrant, peppery, and ready for chopping.
To make your herbs last longer, try treating your basil like a bouquet of roses! You’ve probably learned the tricks to keep your roses looking vivid and unwithered for at least a week; you can keep herbs fresh using the same technique. Trim the edges of the stems and store them in a vase or glass with clean water. Just like a floral arrangement, fresh herbs will stay hydrated longer with their stems in water. Storing herbs as a bouquet will also keep them upright, so they’ll be safe from being bruised or torn until you’re ready to cook with them.
The final trick for proper herb storage? Keep this herbal bouquet on a shelf inside the fridge door instead of pushing it to the back of the fridge. This will cool the herbs at a more mild temperature, prevent the container from spilling over, and keep other items from bruising the basil. All of these storage tricks will help keep herbs fresh longer.
Fresh herbs may have a shorter lifespan than what you’ll find in the spice jar, but a little extra care can extend their freshness so you won’t have to settle for subpar flavor. Consider starting an indoor herb garden so you can harvest fresh herbs whenever you need them! Then, each time the plant produces a new batch of mature leaves, follow these steps to keep herbs fresh in your kitchen for as long as possible.
Looking for more storage tips? Check out the best places to store your favorite fruits here.