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How to store fresh herbs to make them last longer

Fresh herbs are seen in this undated file photo.
April 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
While it's fun to grow your own fresh herbs, if that isn't possible, you want to get your money's worth from basil, cilantro, dill and more. One chef shows you how to get more bang for your buck with store-bought spices.

For over 30 years, Suzanne Landry has been a health educator and a chef. Her kids had food allergies. She herself had health issues that she dealt with by changing their diet from processed to healthy homemade.

"I use a lot of fresh herbs, a lot of dried herbs and a lot of dried spices in my cooking," said Landry. "You've got to make it colorful, got to make it very complementary."

Store-bought herbs can be expensive, so Landry showed us how to get the most out of them.

For example, she said there are four fresh herbs you can keep for at least 10 days in your refrigerator if you put them in water. They are: flat leaf parsley, curly leaf parsley, cilantro and fresh dill. Wash the herbs in a bowl, but don't just use the leaves.

"Those four have a wonderful soft stem that is actually quite edible," said Landry.

She uses cilantro -- stem and all -- in her chickpea coconut curry dish.

Put the washed herbs in water in a wide mouth jar and cover it with a plastic bag and refrigerate for the best longevity.

Hearty basil also goes into her curry dish. Use only the leaves because the stems are tough. It, too, likes water and being covered, but keep your basil on the counter for longer shelf life.

Ginger spices up a dish, but it can be a pain to use. Landry says that's not so.

"You just take a cheese grater, a small-holed cheese grater, wash your ginger, of course, but don't have to peel it. Just grate it with the peel and everything," said Landry.

Scoop it in a ball and squeeze the juice out of it. Landry made coconut chick pea curry and California fiesta couscous -- two plant-based dishes featured in "The Passionate Vegetable," a collection of her family favorites.


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