Culinarily Yours: Herbs are Like Flowers

How many times have we purchased herbs only to lose them to a pile of slime in a plastic bag at the bottom of the veggie drawer? With a little bit of effort and attention, those same herbs can last longer and be used more often.

My task, when herbs first come home from the market, is to treat them right. I have a bit of background in floral design, and I apply the same principles to herbs as I would a market bunch of flowers from the floral department.

First, get them out of the plastic wrap and take off the ties. Let them breathe.
Pull out any stems/leaves that are already breaking down.
Rinse them, loosely bunch them and then give them a fresh cut across the bottoms of the stems.
Put them in a small glass of water and keep them in the fridge.
Every couple of days, refresh with new water, remove any stems/leaves that are no longer viable and trim the ends.

This works primarily for herbs with stiffer stems, such as parsley and cilantro. Softer herbs like basil and sage, really should be used fresh off the plant, as they do not hold well. If they do come home from the store, those we typically leave in their “corsage” boxes for safekeeping, but not more than a few days.

Just like flowers in the fridge in the floral department, fresh herbs stand proud at home in the fridge. When we can simply reach in and grab a mini vase of herbs, it becomes easy pickin’s for flavoring and garnishing dishes.

Until next time…

Culinarily Yours,
Mrs. Chef (Christa)

Christa DeMercurio

Instead of a New Year’s resolution, Christa DeMercurio asked her chef husband to be her tutor/mentor/sage (not the herb) for the 2018 year, teaching her his tips, tricks and wisdom in the culinary department. She figured that after over a decade together, their bakers dozen year should be a fun journey of cooking. Her husband, Cal DeMercurio, has been in the food service business since, well, forever (40-ish years). When it comes to the restaurant life, she's been more comfortable in the Back Office and sometimes Front of the House, but never really ventured into the professional kitchen. She's obtained a few skills by observing her husband over the years and then experimenting here and there at home. Now she's ready to take her apprenticeship to the next level. You can read her blog, Culinarily Yours, here.

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