Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to work with and every week I do buy a bunch during my weekly shopping trip. I used to struggle with keeping cilantro fresh for days - they would either wilt or rot and the only thing I could do was to toss them in the garbage. Talk about food waste.
I decided to tackle this problem once and for all. If you are like me and always found it difficult to store cilantro fresh for days, then this is a must read for you. If you don't have such a problem, do post your method in the comments so that we can all benefit from it.
So, I asked around. And I got so many different ideas, but I tried three different methods that I thought would be the best, easiest and simplest.
Without further ado, here are the three methods that show you how to keep cilantro fresh for days.
This method was the most commonly shared one, so I decided to give it a try.
Place cilantro in a big bowl and wash it well with cold water. Place the cilantro on a paper towel and dry it completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
When you completely dry the cilantro, it wilts a little. Remove any dried leaves promptly.
I do not prefer this method when I have to use cilantro for garnishing purposes.
If you love green color on your kitchen counter, this is the method for you. Wash and clean the cilantro and place the whole bunch in a glass bottle (or a mason jar). Remember to change the water regularly (I change it daily). The clear glass jar gives you an indication on when the water starts to turn murky. Remove any leaves that fall into the water on a regular basis.
Though this involves taking care of the leaves on a regular basis, it does give the kitchen a pop of color and you will really love plucking the fresh leaves when required.
This was a tip shared in a food group I am a member of. I was shuffling between the method 1 and method 2 till I tried this one.
This is my absolute favorite one, since it keeps cilantro leaves fresh and perky.
Wash and drain the cilantro leaves. (Remove just the excess water, do not dry it completely). Line an air-tight container with paper kitchen towel. Place the damp cilantro leaves inside the container. Place another kitchen towel (paper) above the leaves. Close the lid tightly and place in the refrigerator. Use as required. Remember to close the lid tightly after every use. The leaves do not wilt and will stay as fresh as you brought from the store. If you find leaves going bad, remove them promptly from the container so that the other leaves don't get affected.
Eight recipes that use cilantro
Like I said, I love using cilantro in my cooking. Though this herb is mainly used as a garnish, I grind these leaves along with other spices to add oomph to my curries.
- Have you tried the Indian Masala Pasta? Takes 20 minutes from start to finish, a pasta dish using Indian inspired flavors. Having this recipe in your recipe stash is helpful for those busy days.
- If you love fresh corn, then you MUST try this recipe for pan seared corn. Again, a quick and easy recipe, where corn on the cob is pan roasted and the garlic herb butter... just add an extra flavor to the sweet corn.
- Tostada Tuesdays? Yes please. Try this black bean tostatdas with kiwi salsa.
- Tehri is a very popular rice dish, I make a mixed vegetable tehri - loaded with vegetables - I use cilantro as a garnish. It also adds flavor.
- Mint Chutney is a famous chutney/dip from Indian cuisine. Serve it as a dip for you pakoras, or spread it on bread, top cucumber, tomato etc, and enjoy a light meal.
- Looking for a flavorful dish for meatless Mondays? Here is a Lima bean curry for you.
- Similar to the Lima bean curry, I make a cilantro chicken curry, that goes well with steamed basmati rice, naan or roti.
- I use chopped cilantro leaves in my mixed vegetable uthappam (Indian pancakes made with fermented batter; gluten free) and let me tell you, those leaves add a lot of flavor to the uthappam.
EDIT : 4/25/2016
Reader's share their tips to keep cilantro fresh for days
A few of my readers shared their tips on how to keep cilantro fresh for days.
Piyali shared my favorite method od storing Cilantro. Told you.. It works!
[dt_quote type="blockquote" font_size="big" animation="none" background="plain"]Wash and let the water dry. Later wrap it in a kitchen paper towel and put it in air tight container. It will stay fresh. - Piyali Sarkar Vhaval [/dt_quote]
Chailtali was also of the same opinion.
[dt_quote type="blockquote" font_size="big" animation="none" background="plain"] Wash ...dry....keep it in tupperware box ...in refrigerator. .. - Chaitali Gandhi[/dt_quote]
Manisha follows a different method.
[dt_quote type="blockquote" font_size="big" animation="none" background="plain"]Don't wash wrap in paper and store in plastics bag in fridge wash before using ! - Manisha Date-Phadke[/dt_quote]
Prachi uses tupperware boxes to store cilantro.
[dt_quote type="blockquote" font_size="big" animation="none" background="plain"]Just use tupperware fridgesmart ? - Prachi Kshirsagar Sharma[/dt_quote]
Sue Pats has some interesting tips to share.
[dt_quote type="blockquote" font_size="big" animation="none" background="plain"]1. I keep it in a tupperware veggie box with a paper towel in it. Stays really fresh. 2.[I] also I get from Farmer's market. In other grocery stores they keep on spraying too much of water on veggies, so they are too wet. 3. I see so many washing and keeping it. I do like Manisha, wash it before using. There are some veggies which you can wash, dry and store; but I found cilantro is not one of them. - Sue Pats [/dt_quote]
Parag uses a salad spinner to store cilantro. pretty interesting, I say. Now, I have to get a salad spinner Parag, only to store cilantro. 🙂
[dt_quote type="blockquote" font_size="big" animation="none" background="plain"] Use a mini salad spinner to wash, dry and also store them in the fridge. Stays fresh for over two weeks. Tried and tested.
I have tried washing and store them with paper towel, cutting the stems and storing them, putting them in a water filled glass but nothing has worked anywhere close to the salad spinner. Try it and you will never go back. - Parag Kothari Prasad[/dt_quote]
Do not forget to look at the comments. Prerna Singh (blogger at Indian Simmer) has shared her method of keeping cilantro fresh.
Do you follow any of the methods mentioned above? Or do you have a different method to make cilantro last longer? Share your tip with us in the comments section. Your tip is valuable.
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