Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.
Here's one that's full of our favorite recipes because we wrote the book! It is also full of information, helpful hints and ideas for using herbs and spices in your kitchen.
Buying and Storing Fresh Herbs
by Sandra Bowens
Other articles you might enjoy:
1. Storage Questions & Answers Page
2. Buying Dried Herbs and Spices
3. Storing Dried Herbs and Spices
4. Season in Layers
5. Handy Herbal Glossary
The ideal way to keep fresh herbs on hand is a window pot or garden. This may not work for everyone. The next best thing is your local farmer's market, but again, this may not be possible year around. So you are forced to buy from the supermarket. No problem. Just be choosy and take good care of the precious purchase when you get home.
Freshness is key
When choosing fresh herbs, inspect them carefully. You want them to look like a live plant. Shriveled leaves or dark spots are indicators that an herb is old and will not last long in your refrigerator.
Make a bouquet
As soon as you bring a bunch of herbs home, pinch off any leaves that look inferior and trim half an inch from the stem ends, if applicable. Take the bunch like you would flowers and place them, stem end, into a small glass of water. Store this in your refrigerator, changing the water daily. Mario Batali of the TV Food Network suggests setting fresh herbs out on your counter each morning to remind yourself to use them throughout the day.
Another way to prolong the life of fresh herbs in your refrigerator is to wrap them in a damp, not wet, paper towel and then place in a plastic bag. Store in the vegetable bin.
Shelf life is short
No matter how well you treat your fresh herbs, you can realistically expect them to last for only about a week. Don't let them go to waste. Toss them into salads or use them as a garnish. Let frugality become your inspiration to more creative cooking.