Member Since: 07/25/2014

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Re: How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

I wanted to add that I treat other leafy veggies, like chard and kale, the same way as lettuce, and I use gallon-size jars rather than half-gallon as I originally stated.

Re: How to Keep Cilantro Fresh

I've found a great way to keep all my vegetables (with the exception of lettuce which I'll explain later), including cilantro, crisp fresh forever--without having to use paper towels. I soak a kitchen towel (a regular, large hand towel; doesn't really matter what material) in cold water, then wring it out so it doesn't drip but is still quite damp-wet, and lay it flat and smooth on the bottom of my vegetable drawer in the fridge (pretty important to use a drawer; not just flat on a shelf).

On top of the damp towel , I place my washed and loose vegetables, slightly dried with another hand towel used for that purpose. They can be placed on top of each other, too. For instance, I lay the celery stalks on the right side of the bin. On top of these, I place whole carrots. On top of the carrots, I place stalks of green onions. On the other side of the bin, I might place washed whole beets, and cabbage. I just keep topping everything with veggies until I have filled up the bin, keeping in mind to place the lighter veggies, like cilantro and parsley, on the very top so they don't get crushed.

I then place another soaked and wrung kitchen towel over all the veggies to cover them. I then shut the drawer, and voila. When I need a veggie, I just pull it out, already cleaned and ready to prepare and fresh as the day I stored it. When a veggie runs low, I buy another, wash it, and return to fridge. Periodically, I remove the veggies from the bin (good time is when everything is running low)and wash my towels in the washing machine to freshen, then start over; i.e., soaking them in cold water and wringing well, laying flat in drawer, and relaying the veggies, etc.

Lettuce is a little different. I still don't have to use paper towels, and it, too, keeps fresh forever. I wash a head by separating the leaves and swishing them in a few changes of water in a large bowl. Then I give each lettuce leaf a good shake (I don't use a salad spinner because I want a little moisture left on each leaf). Then I arrange the leaves individually in a very large glass jar (half-gallon size is good), so they're closely placed together (can be a little snug, but try not to crush). Then I screw on the jar lid and place in the fridge. When I need some for a salad or sandwich, I simply pull out some washed leaves already prepared and crisp fresh.

Thanks for letting me share, and hope these ideas might work for you, too. I feel good if I can save some trees, and my work seems to go faster, too.