ISSUE 10  |  Mr. McGregor's Garden

5 Beautiful Ways to Make Fresh Herbs Last Longer

March 15, 2014 10:00 AM

BY Stacey Lindsay

Hiding a limp bundle of fresh rosemary or thyme in the back of the crisper drawer? I call this pure sacrilege. Herbs should be celebrated both for their culinary usefulness and for their beauty.

With aesthetics and ease in mind, our friends at The Chalkboard  consulted Portland, Oregon-based florist Riley Messina of Erba Studio. It’s no surprise that Riley, an admirer of woven herbs in flower arrangements, also came up with clever storage tips for culinary herbs. 

Photographs by Parker Fitzgerald.

1. Bouquet-style: Riley suggests tying together several small bottles–each can hold one type of herb–to create a single centerpiece. Add water and fresh herbs to each vessel.

2. Wrapped: Cut the stems of the herbs and wrap them in a damp paper towel and cloth. Tie the bundle together with twine and store in a cool place or in the refrigerator. 

3. Frozen: Your glass of Jameson just got classier. Riley recommends making ice cubes by adding water to fill 1/4 of an ice cube mold, then adding the herb of your choice and letting it freeze. Repeat this process until the cube is complete. “Herbs will be encased in the cube, adding beauty and flavor to your cocktails,” she says, For added color, see our own DIY: Rose Petal Ice Cubes.

4. Salted: Cover the bottom of an airtight glass jar with a thick layer of salt. Add a single type of herb and then another light layer of salt. Continue until the container is full, making sure it is topped with a thick layer of salt. Close the jar and store in a cool, dark place.

5. Sized and Bundled: To make cooking easier, Riley suggests measuring out the amount of herbs you need for a recipe to fill a few small bottles, jars or pots, which she says saves time and “looks lovely in the kitchen.”

Care to stay a bit longer in the Pacific Northwest? Visit The Woodsman Tavern and Market in Portland, OR.

Planning to make a soup this weekend? Consider flavoring it with a Bouquet Garni. Growing your own kitchen herbs? Learn How to Roots Herbs in Water.