keeping herbs fresh
I love kitchen gadgets, but I'm reaching the limit of my drawer space. Has anyone tried the containers being sold to keep herbs or parsley fresh? I read a recommendation for them, but when I went to Sur La Table, they were sold out, so I didn't see what they look like. Later on, I got the impression that they weren't much different from a sealed jar with water. I saw one a large one at The Sharper Image (for parsley) but would rather try again at Sur La Table if they're worth it.
Herbs are pretty expensive; I haven't had much luck growing my own and wonder if this new storage method is worth trying.
I've never seen or heard of the storage containers to which you refer.
I don't use any fancy containers (though I am guilty of amassing my own collection of kitchen gadgets) but find that fresh herbs can last up to a week by doing the following:
- Place herb bunches under refrigeration with their stems in water (don't allow any leaves to immerse in the water).
- Keep loose leaves in the coldest part of a refrigerator in perforated bags. Fresh herbs need some moisture but too much moisture promotes decay. So, shake them as dry as possible before storing (or pat gently with a paper towel to soak up excess moisture). Crumple a paper towel and put it into the bag under the herbs, to absorb excess moisture and lengthen the life of the herbs.
Alternatively, you can wash, pat dry and chop up the herbs and freeze them, although you will lose some of the herbs' aroma.
I just realized I left out some details in my previous post:
Before placing the herb stems in a cup/container of water, snip off a small amount at the end, so that they can suck up water (similar to cut flowers.) Then, loosely cover the exposed leaves with a plastic bag but don't seal it off entirely.
I stick them (clean, dry) in a glass canning jar/mayo jar. No water. They keep for weeks like this. One of the best tips ever & I learned it right here on Chowhound.
I would add that a bias cut exposes more of the root stem and improves the herbs water absorption and long-term freshness. Also, Sharper Image recently filed for Chapter 11. So you may find their stuff on clearance or somesuch.