How to Store Parsley
Herbs like parsley are essential for garnishing your dishes to make them even more delectable. But it is not always possible to make a trip to the store every time you want to add parsley to the dish. Hence, we have collected some very interesting and easy methods for you to store parsley for long term use.
Rinsing vegetables is a must after you take them out from the grocery bag or before storing them inside the refrigerator. Not only does this help to get rid of all the dirt, but it will also enable you to keep your refrigerator clean for longer. Needless to say, this goes for herbs like parsley as well! Hence, put the parsley in a strainer and turn on the tap water. This should help you get rid of most of the dirt if any, on it.
The next step would be to fill up a bowl with clean tap water and use your hands to rinse and swish the parsley to remove the residual dirt. Throw away the water once it gets all dirty and redo the procedure until you start seeing fresh clean water.
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How to Store Fresh Parsley
- Air Drying
You will be needing strings to hold a bundle of parsley together by its stem for this method to work. Once you have successfully tied them into proper bundles, use paper bags to store them. Paper bags will prevent the color from fading away by keeping it away from sunlight and dust.
You can hang the paper bag somewhere inside the house to preserve stronger flavors. However, you will have to make sure it is hung in a dry place and that there is enough airflow all around the bag to prevent mold growth.
Once you have dried it, you will see that the parsley has become crumbly. Use an airtight container to store the parsley and keep it in a dry and cool spot.
- Oven Drying
Oven drying can be a little difficult to follow since you have to make sure that the parsley doesn’t come in contact with the metal tray as this will blacken the bright green color of parsley. Hence, spread a parchment paper on the tray and then transfer the parsley in it.
Put the tray inside the oven and use the lowest setting to dry the parsley in your oven. For even airflow, place the tray on the upper stand.
From time to time, check in to make sure that it is not getting burnt. Drying up the parsley with this method should not take more than 2-4 hours with its lowest setting. Again, put the parsley into an airtight box for later use and store it in a cool and dry place.
If other methods don’t work for you, you can switch to using a dehydrator to dry up your parsley instead. Preheating measurements would differ considering the humidity in the corner of the world you live in. For average temperature, use between 95-115 degrees F and for humid conditions, switch to 125 degrees F.
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Place the parsley evenly on the tray so that there is even circulation of air inside the dehydrator. Once the leaves begin to crumble, take it out and store it in an airtight container.
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How to Store Chopped Parsley
Cut off the stems but make sure to preserve the branches. Use a sharp knife to chop the parsley in a bunch. Keep on rotating your knife backwards and forwards until you’ve chopped it all. Make sure to use a sharp knife for this.
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If you don’t feel comfortable using sharp knives, a herb scissor might prove to be more helpful. Food processors can also be a good option if you want to mince the parsley. However, it is wise to use this method only when you want to mix the parsley in a dish and not use it to garnish since it’s more flavorsome and contains more moisture.
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Another interesting method that you can try out is to put the parsley into a glass and using a knife to chop it off. Once you have chopped the parsley, you can select one of these methods to store it:
If you are wondering how to keep parsley fresh for longer, this is the best method to use. Put the chopped parsley into a plate and place it inside the refrigerator. The key is to make sure that it has dried properly, and for this, you will need to toss the plate regularly to ensure it has dried out evenly. You’ll be surprised to see that the green color will still be intact after the parsley has dried for the whole 3 days.
Note that stems will take about a week to dry up. Use an airtight container to store the chopped parsley, place it in a dry and cool place to use it over time.
- Blanching & Freezing
Boiling or blanching the parsley is a method that will help you to preserve the flavor and color of the parsley for a long time. You can also try this out with other fruits or vegetables in case you want to preserve them for later use.
Place a pot of water on the stove and wait till it starts to boil. Put the parsley into the boiling water and give it a light swirl using tongs or a spatula. Wait for the color to brighten up and immediately take it all out. Rinse them with cold water or place it somewhere cool to air dry it.
If you are wondering why this a necessary step, here’s why – drying up or placing the parsley in cold water immediately will prevent it from cooking because of the boiling water.
The next step would be to chop it up using a knife or any other method that you prefer as mentioned above. You can now put the chopped parsley into ice cube trays and pour in a small amount of water in each and every cubicle of the tray. Make sure to not pour in too much water to prevent it from falling off the tray.
Now put the tray in the freezer and wait for 24 hours. Once 24 hours have passed, take the parsley ice cubes and put them in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
Chopped parsley preserved in this way can be used for about 4-6 months. You can also directly put the parsley into a freezer bag after chopping it and avoid the whole ice cube tray method if you want.
Blanching the parsley may seem too much work for storing the parsley but it is necessary if you want the flavor and color to remain intact for longer.
How Long Does Parsley Last?
Now that you know how to preserve parsley, it would be good to know for exactly how long parsley will last once you have brought it home and prepared it for storage. Note that the longevity of stored parsley will depend on the method you have chosen to prepare it for later use.
For example, refrigerating parsley will last for about a week or more if kept in safe freeze bags or airtight containers. Or you could simply add a bit of water in the airtight bag you want to store it in and keep on changing the water every once in a while when it gets gloomy or cloudy.
Using olive oil to freeze the parsley in an ice tray instead of using water can be a better option since you can directly use them while cooking without having to worry about the leaves being boiled.
Otherwise, freezing the parsley in the freezer will keep it in its best condition for about 4 to 6 months. However, you can still use it after that time period. It will be safe to freeze it at 0°F for storing it for an indefinite period of time.
Nonetheless, it is essential for you to throw the parsley away when the bright green color has started to fade away and the leaves become soft. An odd smell coming off from your parsley may also be a good indication to know it’s time to get rid of it apart from its appearance.
Follow all the steps accordingly to get the best results!