how to store cilantro

how to store cilantro | The Clever Carrot

If there is one word that could clear a room, it’s cilantro.

Am I right?

Love it or hate it, I’m sharing a great tip on how to store these fresh herbs. My CSA vegetable share started this week, and amongst all of the beautiful greens was this gorgeous bunch of cilantro. The smell was just incredible. The only problem was that I wasn’t ready to use it right away. Cilantro isn’t like parsley where you can wrap it in a damp paper towel, throw it in a Ziploc, and be done with it. It’s a lot more delicate. The leaves tend to turn yellow and mushy very quickly….

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how to revive wilted herbs

how to revive wilted herbs | The Clever Carrot

I have a horrible habit.

Whenever I buy herbs, I just rip off whatever I need and throw it back in the fridge. I should be taking the time to store them properly, but I just don’t for some reason. And this is coming from the girl who can’t stand waste! I will however, remember to regularly feed my sourdough starter (because that’s normal).

Then of course, everything wilts…

how to revive wilted herbs | The Clever Carrot

But luckily, there’s a really easy way to fix this.

Take your herbs (I’m using parsley) and cut off the stems. Remove and discard any bruised or damaged leaves. Make an ice bath for the leaves to soak.

Submerge.

how to revive wilted herbs | The Clever Carrothow to revive wilted herbs | The Clever Carrot

The cold water will shock the herbs back to life.

The amount of soaking time will vary, but you can usually tell when they’re ready. The herbs will gradually float to the top and look bright green and refreshed. It’s actually fun to watch them ‘grow.’ This particular bunch sat in there for about an hour which was probably longer then necessary, but I got distracted and forgot to check on them. Whatever you do, don’t let them soak for too long or else they will become water logged.

You can use this technique with other herbs such as basil, mint, chervil and cilantro.

how to revive wilted herbs | The Clever Carrot

Cool trick, right?

It’s nice to have something like this up your sleeve when you are a bit lax about your herbs. I also like the fact that most of the work is ‘hands off’ leaving you free to do other things while they soak. It will save you a couple of bucks in the long run too. Try it!

Tips:

  • Dry your picked herbs thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel or salad spinner (that’s what I do). Store them in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel on the top and bottom to absorb any extra moisture. You can also do this in a Ziploc bag. Use within a couple of days.
  • Basil can be a bit high maintenance to revive & store- if it’s exposed to cold water for too long, the leaves will turn black. My recommendation is to shock them (not soak) for 1-2 minutes, or just enough to perk them up. Pat dry and use right away. Washed basil does not keep very well. Get a plant ;)
how to revive wilted herbs
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of wilted herbs
  • ice cubes
  • water
* This technique can be used with basil, mint, chervil and cilantro.
** Basil can be a bit high maintenance to revive & store- if it's exposed to cold water for too long, the leaves will turn black. Shock the leaves (not soak) for about 1-2 minutes, or just enough to perk them up. Pat dry and use right away. Washed basil does not keep very well. Get a plant ;)
Instructions
  1. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice.
  2. For the herbs, cut off the stems and remove any bruised, dry or damaged leaves.
  3. Submerge the picked herbs into the ice bath.
  4. Soak for about 15-30 minutes, or until they perk up and look refreshed.
  5. Drain the herbs in a colander.
  6. Dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel or salad spinner.
  7. To store, place the herbs in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel on the top and bottom to absorb any extra moisture. You can also do this in a Ziploc bag. Use within a couple of days.

3 layer hummus

3 layer hummus | The Clever Carrot

My cousin Claire turned me onto this.

She buys an amazing 3 layer hummus from Trader Joe’s and I’ve been eating it non-stop. The trio includes traditional, roasted red pepper, and jalapeño-cilantro.

Unfortunately, it only comes in a small tub and I needed a vat of this stuff to bring to a party. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $15 on puréed beans, so I just made it.

3 layer hummus | The Clever Carrot

Simply take a batch of traditional hummus and divide it into thirds. Purée 1/3 with the peppers, 1/3 with the jalapeño & cilantro, and leave the rest plain. Dollop each layer into a pretty bowl (preferably clear) and you’re all set. It’s a little messy, but it tastes really good!

Alternatively, you could always use 3 of your favorite store-bought varieties. It’s more expensive this way, but sometimes you can’t put a price tag on convenience! Serve chilled or at room temperature with blue corn chips.

*This 3 layer hummus is similar but not identical to Trader Joe’s. It has less garlic and the texture is more rustic. Feel free to make it your own!

3 layer hummus
 
Author:
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
For the hummus
  • 2x 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. water
  • ⅓ c. olive oil
  • 1 small roasted red pepper (about ¼ c. chopped)
  • 1 small jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed
  • 1 c. cilantro leaves
Garnish
  • cilantro sprigs
  • chickpeas
Instructions
  1. In a blender, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water. Process until smooth.
  2. Set aside 2 tbsp. of chickpeas (for garnish) and add the rest to the blender. Slowly stream in the olive oil to emulsify. If it seems too thick, add additional water or oil to loosen it up.
  3. Taste the hummus and add extra lemon juice and salt if necessary.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, divide the hummus equally into 3 bowls.
  5. To make the 1st layer, puree one bowl of hummus with the roasted red peppers. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside. Rinse and dry the blender.
  6. For the 2nd layer, puree another bowl of hummus with ½ of the jalapeno and cilantro leaves. Give it a taste. Add the rest of the jalapeno if you like it spicy.
  7. Dollop the jalapeno-cilantro layer into the bottom of a serving bowl. Spread it out using the back of the spoon. To prevent the layers from mixing together, dollop along the edges and work your way in towards the center of the bowl.
  8. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  9. Garnish with extra cilantro sprigs and chickpeas.
  10. Serve chilled or at room temperature with blue corn chips.
Notes
To make this 1 day in advance, refrigerate all 3 layers in individual containers. Assemble the dip on the day that you are going to serve.