September 14, 2011

With all my visits to the farmers’ markets, I’ve been on a quest to find the best way to store the herbs I buy. The number one reason I don’t buy bunches of herbs is because I know I won’t use them before they go bad. But when I see the stand and they have basil, mint, dill, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, and probably ones I have never even tried to use, I just want to buy all of them.

My staple is basil – because I think you can put it in anything. Also, I have found my favorite way to keep basil. Wash it, then put it in a glass with water covering the stems. Place a plastic bag with holes cut for air circulation over the bunch and leave it on the counter. I’ve been able to store basil for weeks this way; it even tends to flower and grow a few roots.

The same method didn’t seem to work quite as well with mint and parsley. So I asked the guy at the herb stand what he would suggest for mint and he said wash in cold water, then cover in a damp paper towel. Keep out of the fridge. This worked well for several days – but I tend to forget to dampen the paper towel, so the leaves start wilting. My back-up plan has become to chop it all up and freeze the mint into ice cubes. This would be better if I used mint in things like sauces rather than drinks.

As an aside, mint is surprisingly hard to use. Besides making mojitos or mint juleps, I really had no idea what to use mint for. Best thing I’ve found so far is to chop it up and put it together with fruit. It makes watermelon or nectarines amazing, though peaches and plums work too.



  1. Sound delicious!

  2. Tea or chocolate (other mint usage ideas).

  3. I have an herb saver from William Sonoma, it works amazingly well!! I could easily buy 3 or 4 more and use them all. I’ve been able to keep mint, parsley and cilantro for up to 2 weeks with it.

    I also like to put mint in my tea, or even sometimes in my coffee, and even if I don’t use it all, I think it’s totally worth it to have it around just for the smell.

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