Why You Should Always Rinse Fresh Herbs

Dill, sage, parsley, or thyme can really punch up the flavor of a dish. These fresh herbs are both an enhancement for the taste buds and an aromatic element to delight the olfactory. After all, a homemade Caprese salad wouldn't be the same without basil to compliment the mozzarella and tomato nor would a cilantro pesto have that peppery and pungent taste without cilantro. But as MasterClass points out, the longevity of a fresh herb is considerably fleeting, so it is important to know just how to prep these greens.

To begin with, AWG Private Chefs explains that once you purchase fresh herbs, the first thing you want to do is give them a quick look to ensure there are no bugs that have decided to take up residency in them. Additionally, you should rid any bad from the bunch. You've probably heard the phrase, "One bad apple can spoil the bunch," and the same is true with limp, dead-looking herbs. This is because those "decaying" leaves can further shorten the amount of time your fresh herbs will be viable to use. 

Additionally, you should rinse your fresh herbs.

They're dirty

According to Reader's Digest, fresh herbs that have not been washed are quite dirty and need a good shower before you store them for use. In fact, they caught up with New York chef Christian Souvenir, who explained, "Since most herbs are sensitive to water — they go flat or get slimy relatively quickly — they never really get the thorough wash necessary to make sure you're not eating small amounts of dirt with your herbs." Souvenir recommends removing whatever contraption is holding your fresh herbs together in a bunch and washing the greens under cold water. But don't put them away wet. Souvenir says, "I lightly press them dry and store them in paper towels in the refrigerator."

AWG Private Chefs says if you are washing those herbs that are a little "heartier" like "rosemary, cilantro, [or] parsley," you can break out the salad spinner to dry them after their bath. Once you have them in the paper towels, the cooking site recommends placing them in a Ziplock bag but cautions not to place them in the coldest part of your refrigerator or they may not be usable when you need them.