If you have an abundance of rosemary in the garden, here are a few of my methods on how to store fresh cut rosemary to keep it fresher longer and retain the best flavor.
With a flourishing window box herb garden, I’ve been exploring ways in which I can use each and every sprig of my favorite herb rosemary. I’ve spent all spring and summer ensuring my herbs are happy & healthy growing in the garden, so I don’t want any of my hard work and those tender herbs to go to waste.
While I’ve come up with quite a few unique ideas on how to use rosemary for purposes other than cooking (I’ll share those ideas later in this blog post!), I still have plenty of fresh cut rosemary that needs to be stored for later use.
In this blog post, I thought I would share a few tried & true methods for storing fresh cut rosemary to not only extend it’s life but get the most flavor out of this fragrant herb.
By implementing these techniques, you can savor this robust herbs aroma and taste long after the harvest, ensuring that your comfort food recipes will continue to shine with the cozy essence of this versatile herb.
Harvesting Fresh Rosemary
Before we delve into storage techniques, it’s important to start with quality rosemary. Here are a couple of tips for optimal harvest.
- Timing: Plan your harvest for a sunny morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the day’s heat sets in. At this time of day, the essential oils in the rosemary plant are at their peak, ensuring maximum flavor.
- Selecting the Stems: Choose soft woody stems that are vibrant and green with no dark spots, signs of wilting, or discoloration. Ensure the sprig of rosemary is healthy, robust, and free from any pests or disease.
Washing & Drying the Fresh Cut Herbs
Once you have your freshly harvested rosemary, it’s essential to clean and dry it properly before storage.
- Gently Rinse: Place the rosemary sprigs under cool water and give them a gentle rinse. This will remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated.
- Pat Dry: Use paper towels or a clean dish towel to pat the rosemary sprigs dry. Be careful not to bruise or damage the aromatic leaves during this process, as they contain the precious oils that hold the herbs fresh flavor.
Different Ways to Store Fresh Cut Rosemary
Now that your rosemary is clean and dry, it’s time to store your fresh cut rosemary. Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep the herb fresher longer and preserve the herbs flavor.
Place the rosemary sprigs in a large mason jar or glass of water, just like you would with a bouquet of flowers.
This method will keep your rosemary fresh for a couple of days, with the added benefit of maintaining its vibrant appearance & you’ll love the fragrance that will permeate your kitchen.
Storing in the Refrigerator
My favorite way to store fresh cut sprigs of rosemary is by storing it in the refrigerator with damp paper towels and a ziplock baggie.
Take a slightly damp paper towel and wring out any excess water (should be damp but not soaking wet).
Wrap the damp paper towels around the rosemary sprigs (this creates a moisture rich environment for the rosemary).
Put the paper towel wrapped rosemary sprigs into the ziplock baggie and seal it, ensuring there is no air inside.
Store the baggie in the refrigerator, where the rosemary will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
Other Ways to Store Rosemary
- Drying: Air drying rosemary is a classic method of preserving this herb. Tie a bunch of fresh rosemary sprigs together with twine or a rubber band and hang it upside down in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Allow the rosemary to dry completely, which can take around two weeks. Once dry, gently remove the rosemary leaves from the stems and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Dried rosemary can maintain its flavor for up to a year.
- Herb Saver: Invest in an herb saver, which is designed to extend the life of fresh herbs. These specialized containers provide the right amount of moisture and ventilation, preserving the fresh flavor and texture of your rosemary for up to two weeks. You can shop herb savers here.
- Freezing: Freezing fresh rosemary is great for long term storage. Remove the leaves from the stems and chop them finely or leave them whole (depending on your preference). Place the rosemary in an airtight container or well sealed freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Frozen rosemary retains its flavor for up to six months.
- Freezing in Oil: Pack finely chopped rosemary into an ice cube tray. Fill the trays with olive oil or melted butter, ensuring the rosemary is fully immersed. Once frozen, transfer the ice cubes to a freezer bag or airtight container. This method preserves the herbs flavor for several months and offers the added convenience of portioned rosemary oil for future use.
Can these storage techniques apply to other herbs as well?
The storage methods for fresh cut rosemary can be easily applied to other fresh herbs!
Whether you have an abundance of basil, thyme, parsley, or any other types of herbs, the principles remain the same.
Proper washing, drying, and selecting quality herbs are essential steps for all herbs.
Refrigeration, freezing, and air drying techniques can be adapted to suit the specific characteristics of different herbs, allowing you to extend their freshness and capture their flavors for future use.
By employing these storing methods, you can maximize the lifespan & flavor of various herbs, ensuring you have a vibrant and aromatic selection at your disposal whenever you need them.
Are the storage methods the same for store bought herbs?
These storage techniques are equally applicable to store-bought herbs.
Whether you purchase herbs from a local grocery store or farmer’s market, ensuring their freshness and longevity is crucial for getting the best flavor and aroma.
By following the steps of proper washing and drying, you can remove any potential contaminants and excess moisture from store bought herbs.
It doesn’t matter whether you harvest herbs from your garden or bring them home from the store, these storage techniques will ensure that you have access to fresh and flavorful herbs whenever you need them.
4 Unique Ideas on How to Use Fresh Cut Rosemary
Fresh cut rosemary is a versatile herb that can add a delightful touch to a wide range of culinary dishes as well as other areas of your kitchen & home. Here are 4 unique ways to utilize fresh cut rosemary beyond the traditional cooking methods.
1. Rosemary Ice Cream
This unique frozen delight combines the creamy richness of ice cream with the aromatic essence of fresh rosemary. Infused with a subtle pine like fragrance, this velvety ice cream is a refreshing and unexpected treat.
Grab the rosemary ice cream recipe here.
2. Simmer Pots
Simmer Pots are a great alternative to lighting candles, air fresheners, room sprays, or diffusers. Once you start simmering your own homemade potpourri, you will love the pleasant aroma that will permeate your home.
3. DIY Lemon & Herb Citronella Candles
Simple and easy to make, DIY lemon & herb citronella candles are the perfect way to ward off summer’s unwanted biting insects without the use of harsh chemicals.
Grab the DIY citronella candle recipe here.
4. DIY Rosemary Wreath
Add rustic, natural beauty to your home with this quick & easy DIY rosemary wreath using herbs snipped right from your garden. You’ll not only love the charm of this wreath but also it’s fresh, earthy fragrance.
Grab the DIY rosemary wreath tutorial here.
View my google web stories, The Best Ways to Store Fresh Cut Rosemary & Other Herbs and 4 Unique & Creative Ideas to Use Fresh Rosemary.
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