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Fresh herbs - need to preserve them

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I bought a bunch of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, bay leaves, and parsley) thinking I'd use them the next day.

Is there any way I can preserve them so when I do use them next week they have its original freshness?

Also, is it possible to preserve garlic. Someone told me if I dice the cloves and put it in olive oil, it will retain its freshness. True? Is there a better way?

post #2 of 14
Putting the cloves in olive oil is a good risk of botulism. Yes, people do it but it's not considered good practice nor safe.


Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok then, I won't do that as I get sick enough. Is there another way to preserve them and the herbs I bought?
post #4 of 14

Fresh herbs

Hiya,i have kept my garlic cloves in veg. oil in the fridge for quite a while now and have never had any regards to keeping your herbs fresh, i always wrap them in a wet paper towel and then saran them...seems to work well..
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
How long will they last for?

Right now they are in plastic containers.
post #6 of 14

Fresh herbs

well u want to use them as soon as possible for ultimate freshness, but u can wrap as i mentioned and keep them in a plastic container also, they should last for 4-5 days and it actually depends on how fresh they were when u got them..are they local or shipped in?....u might want to consider growing your own,the process is very easy to do...or u could try and chopping them up and storing them in oil in the fridge...
post #7 of 14
Wash and pat dry. Put them in between paper towels and then in a container. You might be able to squeeze a week out this way. I've pre-made salads that were still good 10 days later. It's all about getting all of the moisture off the leaves and then making sure you have something absorbent in the container. I think Sara Moulton taught me that, and it works wonderfully.
post #8 of 14
If I have herbs I want to preserve I chop finely put in a bag and freeze them. OK, not quite the same as fresh but still pretty good and easy to take out a handful whenever you need some. Far better than dried if you find yourself without fresh during a recipe. I also mix with a little water and freeze into cubes, ideal for stirring into soups/casseroles at the last minute.
post #9 of 14
Like lettuce fresh herbs will do will if rinsed, gently, IN 60 degree water, spun dry, and kept in a cold environment, fridge, with a damp papertowel on top and bottom. This will keep you about a week.

If you want to keep them longer I second the freezing method for herbs. I chop, sometimes make a pesto out of them and then freeze in ice cube trays.

You don't need to mix the garlic with oil. In the clove it will last for a while but keep it away from potatos like onions they are hydrophilliac(sp?) and will attract water and sprout. If you don't want ot use it clove by clove, the next best thing to do is to peel a bunch of garlic, and run it through your food processor, put that in a dedicated container in your fridge, scoop and use as you need. Like the commercial varieties of this it will lose pungency over time and may turn a little bitter, but you can't beat it for ease.

Also you can do the same for garlic (or ginger) I peel, chop, and put into a small zip-loc roll up and freeze. That way when I need some all I do is cut off a "coin".
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #10 of 14
I was shocked at the result of my little experiment: I actually kept a bunch of basil in a mug of water that I would change daily. It kept unrefrigerated by my window (not too much sun) for THREE WEEKS! Yes, it did flower, but hey, I had fresh basil and none of it was wasted.
post #11 of 14

Best option I think. Good job!

post #12 of 14
It works well to leave whole(or chop) submerge in olive oil and then freeze. This process makes the herbs last longer and also infuses the olive oil. A good idea would be to chop them and pour the herb olive oil mixture in a ice cube trey. This way you can take them out one batch at a time and do not need to thaw or chop off a peice each time.
post #13 of 14
Haha didn't read the post which says the same thing my bad guys
post #14 of 14

we wrap fresh leafy herbs in kitchen paper and moisten it a bit.

then store either in ziploc but usually in a plastic lidded container to avoid drying out.


the jar of water method to put them in works well if water is changed regularly.


for leafy green herbs like basil: various methods mentioned above.

make it into a puree either freeze as icecubes or  mix with oil and put in jar.


laurel leaves: dry and store.


things like parsley, coriander: chop and freeze. keeps quite a while, at least a month 


woody herbs like thyme can be dried, so can oregano. rosemary doesn't dry well.

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