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Mar 6, 2012 07:59 AM


I love fresh parsley. I wash it, air dry it and store it in paper towels in a plastic bag in the frig.
I use some of it and either out of laziness or forgetfulness, it languishes in there, and I have to throw the rest out. This week I decided to try something new. I washed it, dried on paper towels and stored it like flowers in a pitcher of water on the counter. I had thoughts of setting it on the shelf of the frig, but thought it might get knocked over. I change the water every day and it's been there for four days now and looks as fresh as the first day. I've used it every day for cooking or garnish and it looks like it's going to last long enough for me to use it up. It looks pretty on the counter, reminds me that it's there, and it's easy to cut a sprig or bunch. Thought I'd share that. Anybody else have any little tricks to extend the life of produce? I know there are probably old threads like this, but thought I'd start a new one.

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  1. That works with basil too!

    I always end up with leftover fresh cilantro. I chop the whole lot and whatever is leftover, I put in a zip top bag in the freezer. I break off chunks as I need it in small quantities and it is still very fresh and flavorful. You can also do this with parsley. This only works in some dishes, as you do get a darkening of the brilliant green when it is frozen and a texture difference. For instance, I wouldn't make a tabbouleh with frozen parsley but I always throw frozen cilantro in at the end of cooking coconut curry.

    1. Normally we just wrap the stems in paper towels and keep them wet in a bag in the fridge. Lasts long enough to get used up (mostly).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        This is pretty much how I do it if I have excess.
        Except after I wash/rinse off the bundle, I wrap it in a damp/wet papertowel, put it in a plastic bag, and store it in the fridge. Lasts for over a week like this.

        1. re: Novelli

          wait. . .you wrap the whole bundle in a damp towel or just the end of the stems?

          I try to keep my bundle as dry as possible and wrap them in a dry paper towel.

          1. re: seamunky

            The whole thing.

            I'll pull of 2 squares of papertowel, get them damp, lay them open on the counter, then place the bundle of cilantro/parsley diagonally on the papertowel and roll it up.

            1. re: Novelli

              hmmm. . .I'll have to try this. I always assumed I didn't want the leaves to get wet. You know how veggies transpire when kept in a plastic bag? My cilantro leaves always spoil when they touch the wet plastic bag or touch other wet leaves.

        2. re: Harters

          "Normally we just wrap the stems in paper towels and keep them wet in a bag in the fridge. Lasts long enough to get used up (mostly)."

          I do that also, but forget it is in the fridge. To the OP's point, if it is out there on the counter one may wind up using it in many more dishes than usual. Good idea!

        3. I remember my mom putting the stem ends of the parsley in water, and that seemed to work pretty well--it lasted a few days (I guess ambient temperature would be important too).

          1. Good idea! I am forever finding half-full bags of yellowed parsley or cilantro in the fridge. Hopefuly I can find some counterspace for this.

            1. It will last even longer in the "vase" if you clip the stems every couple days.