Spices and aromatic plants are kitchen allies. They’re perfect for flavoring and enhancing dishes. To infuse your sauces or broths, you can add a bouquet garni made of thyme, bay leaves, and tied parsley. To get the most of these plants’ flavors, they must be kept fresh. This article demonstrates how to preserve fresh parsley for up to two months.
Preserving Fresh Aromatic Plants: The Basics
Keeping aromatic plants fresh is doable with the right techniques. If you’re unsure about preserving your parsley, don’t fret. This article will guide you on the best ways to keep your parsley fresh as long as possible.
How to Preserve Fresh Parsley in Stems?
Choose bright green parsley with a fresh scent. Avoid wilted, brown, or shriveled parsley.
There are several methods for preserving this aromatic herb.
1. Storing Parsley in an Airtight Container
In a Glass Jar: Finely chop the parsley and store it in a sealed glass jar. This method keeps parsley fresher than when it’s stored as stems.
In the Refrigerator:
- Wash the parsley to remove dirt, dust, and any insects.
- Shake off excess water and finely chop it, discarding the stems.
- Lay the chopped parsley on a plate in the refrigerator.
- Stir the parsley daily to ensure even drying.
- Once dried, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
2. Storing Parsley in a Jar with Water
- Treat fresh parsley like a bouquet of flowers.
- Cut 12mm off the bottom of the stems and remove any brown leaves.
- Ensure the leaves are dry. Only rinse when you’re about to use them.
- Place the parsley stems in a ¾-filled jar of water.
- Store in the fridge with a plastic bag draped loosely over the jar and secured with a rubber band.
- Change the water every two days to maintain freshness.
- Before use, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel or salad spinner.
3. Using Paper Towel for Preservation
- Moisten a paper towel (preferably unprinted) and wrap it around the parsley.
- Store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator. Re-moisten the paper towel when it dries.
Preserving Chopped Parsley in the Freezer
For long-term storage, the freezer is your best option.
- Before Freezing: Ensure parsley is cleaned and dried properly to avoid freezing dirt or bugs.
Using Oil for Preservation
- Option 1:
- Clean and dry parsley.
- Finely chop and place in ice cube trays.
- Pour olive or a neutral vegetable oil over the parsley and freeze. Use the cubes to flavor soups and stews.
- Alternatively, place chopped parsley in a freezer bag, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, remove air, and seal.
- Option 2:
- Use a food processor to finely chop the parsley.
- Mix with 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil and freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer cubes to a freezer bag.
Storing Parsley in Water
- Clean and dry parsley.
- Separate leaves from stems, place them in ice cube trays, cover with water, and freeze.
Blanching Parsley for Longer Preservation
- After rinsing, boil the parsley briefly.
- When it starts to lighten in color, remove and rinse with cold water.
- Remove stems, finely chop, and place in ice cube trays with a bit of water. Freeze for 24 hours then transfer cubes to a freezer bag.
In conclusion, flavoring dishes with parsley is easy with these preservation techniques. Use the right methods, freeze if needed, and enjoy fresh parsley whenever you wish.