Maybe I'm an idiot, but over thanksgiving I had the bright idea to put a storebought bunch of parseley into a vase with a little water, like flowers.
I usually buy it by the bunch, use what I need for a certain dish, then store it in the lower drawer in the fridge until I find it a couple of weeks later turned to mush.
I've been throwing away parseley and cilantro for years, but the vase idea has kept the parseley fresh since that time (and it is still fine).
Just FYI in case you haven't thought of this either.
While we've had a time with Cilantro (with some success, but nothing great), Parsley and especially Basil are easy to grow and prolific once going. Either sunlight or augment with a full spectrum flourescent and you'll have them, fresh, when you want. The basil is so prolific we have to plan meals just to use the stuff!
However, on your idea, I started doing similar with green onions after seeing my wife cut her celery into half lengths, putting them in water and storing in the fridge. So now i just add the g.o. to that cup.
As with fresh flowers, remember to trim the stems prior to putting them in the water & change the water every couple of days.
(I find they last longer keeping the vase, water glass in my case, in the fridge covered loosely with a plastic bag.)
I've had success keeping Cilantro and Parsley fresh by rinsing them, shaking off all of the water, a salad spinner works well for this, and then wrapping loosely in either a clen dish towel or in paper towels and then placing in a plastic bag that is not tightly shut and refrigerating.
They actually make a clear round plastic cylinder with black rubber top that holds lots of herbs. It really works very well.
My wife got it at a store called Beals? I'm sure they are available in lots of places. Here in Florida we pay $1.95 for small bags of all different types of herbs. They grow them locally someplace in the State.
Ever notice the change in the thyme at various times (pun) of the years? The leaves actually look completely different at different times. Of course, sage is very hard to get in the warm months as is rosemary.
Oh, for those of you who love herbs, I must tell you this is pretty interesting...In Utah, just outside of Zion National Park, there is a town called Springdale, UT.
In the town is a pottery/sandstone store and their entire front lawn is completely overgrown with these huge, huge rosemary bushes. They are absolutely beautiful. Here in Florida, as soon as the weather heats up, the planted variety dies.
At my house in the foothills outside Albuquerque (c. 6k' above sea level), I have nine enormous "Arp" variety rosemaries and one enormous prostrate rosemary. They really get huge - a couple of times a year I prune off a 33-gallon garbage bag's worth, just so that I can continue to move around in the yard.
Naturally, I cut all the rosemary I want to cook (and to brew, but that's for another board). My wife and I also always keep some fresh branches under the seats of our cars - wonderful smell.
Nowadays I package up a big box (around 20 lbs) of the nicest fresh branches to ship to my father in Evanston every time I prune. I think I'm keeping a lot of Chicago in rosemary! If anyone needs some, drop me an email. :-)
Rudeboy, thanks for the original tip on the parsley!