Do you routinely toss fresh herbs because they've gone bad before you've gotten a chance to use them? Keep them fresher longer by storing them in vases of water, bouquet-style. Here's how:
- Select a clean vase or glass with a mouth wide enough to accommodate the bunch of herbs. Make sure the container you choose is deep enough to hold the stems, but not so deep that the herb leaves will be submerged underwater.
- Add at least 1 to 2 inches of water to the vase. Let the depth and shape of the vase guide you -- the object is to provide enough water to keep the herbs fresh, and to make sure the herb stems can reach the water. Remove any herb leaves that would fall below the waterline. Trim the bottoms of the stems if they look sealed off or dry, just as you would with cut flowers before placing them in water.
- Place the herbs in the vase, and set the vase near a window or in a well-lit area. Sun-loving herbs like basil can be stored this way at room temperature.
- If you prefer to refrigerate your herbs, tent a plastic bag over the vase.
Tip: It's fine to rinse the stems, but don't wash the herb leaves until you're ready to use them, unless they are extremely dirty or sandy -- the moisture can rot the leaves. If you must rinse the herbs, be sure to dry them well before storage.