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Best way to save my store-bought herbs?

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CrownJewel

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I often use cilantro and a few other fresh herbs in cooking but when I buy these at the market, they come in such GIANT bunches that they always go bad before I can use them all up (they''re good for less than a week). I usually just keep them in a dry bag in the refrigerator drawer, but is there a better way to store them to prolong their freshness?

With my most recent bunch of cilantro, I have them on the kitchen counter, upright in a "vase" of water but I''m not sure that will last for very long. Any tips? Or is this a lost cause and I should just accept the fact that I will always have to throw out my herbs within a few days?

I would try a windowsill herb garden but we don''t get much light in this apartment. Maybe I should try anyway. Is cilantro easy to grow in a small indoor pot?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

ammayernyc

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Dec 23, 2004
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Holding them in a ''vase'' is the best way to store them. But they are perishable so they will only last for a certain amount of time.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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do you have a Trader Joe''s near you? They sell some herbs in frozen cubes that you can just add to the dish. It won''t work for everything, but if you''re cooking with the herbs, it''s great. I have cilantro, basil and garlic in cube form in my fridge right now. I just pop a few cubes in rather than buying fresh herbs and chopping them.

And yes, a "vase" is really the best way but they won''t last more than a week since they are essentially "cut flowers".
 

eks6426

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Nov 19, 2004
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I share your frustration with the herbs. I have luck with getting cilantro to last about 2 weeks by wrapping it in the plastic bag like you would use when you get produce at the grocery store and putting it in my crisper drawer. I also have had luck by putting it in the vase of water but then putting the vase in the fridge. Don''t forget to change the water in the vase every day.

As for growing cilantro, I would love some tips. I grow almost all other herbs and do a decent size veggie garden every year but I cannot for the life of me get cilantro to do much. I''ve bought it as a plant and tried to get it to grow and have done it from seed. nothing works for me so maybe some other PS folks have tips on that.

On the frozen cilantro idea, you can freeze cilantro or most other spices on a cookie sheet then put them in a ziploc after they freeze. This works well for dishes that you are going to cook, but I usually use my cilantro fresh in things like guacamole and the frozen stuff just doesn''t work for that.
 

lovelylulu

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 6, 2005
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I rinse the herbs, wrap them in a damp paper towel and store them in a plasic ziploc in fridge.
 

FireGoddess

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Jan 25, 2005
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Things like basil and the such I do use a vase of water and leave ''em on the counter. They''ve started selling hydroponically (sp?) grown basil at safeway that has a small root ball - you can actually plant it and keep it going. But I haven''t seen that for more than just basil. The rest usually do tend to go bad before I can use ''em up!
 

CrownJewel

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Thanks for the tips. I was HOPING someone would say, "yeah do this and that and your cilantro will last for months!" DARN. My mom puts her basil in a glass of water on the counter and it just lasts and lasts and sometimes even continues to grow!! Why do the markets sell cilantro in such big bunches? If they sold them in smaller bunches, then I wouldn''t have to throw any away and THEN I wouldn''t need to whine about it. :)

I will try to freeze some but like you, IslandDreams, I use it fresh in chili and guacamole. I''ll try the frozen cubes in chili (sumbride I read on FreshDirect that you can make the cubes yourself!), and maybe frozen sprigs in my guac. IslandDreams, you got cilantro to last 2 WEEKS!?!! Wow.
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
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Yeah, I don''t know how but I''m around 2 weeks with cilantro. The leaves are starting to wilt near the end of the time, but they''re still usable. I just add extra when I make something when the 2 weeks are almost there assuming the cilantro has lost some of it''s flavor. no one complains so I must be doing ok.

Good luck with yours and let us know if you discover the magic secret!
 
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