Few herbs are as controversial as humble cilantro. Some people can’t imagine life (or guacamole) without it, while others think it tastes like soap (including our culinary hero, Ina Garten). For those in the former category, you may find yourself with a bunch of cilantro hanging out in the back of your fridge pretty regularly. And that’s where it’ll stay until the leaves wilt and turn an unappetizing shade of brown. Since most recipes require only a few sprigs of cilantro (and not a giant bunch), the challenge is finding a way to keep the greens fresh until next Taco Tuesday. We’ve got you covered. The trick for how to store cilantro so that it stays fresh longer is to treat them like flowers. You might want to pick up a couple of extra avocados at the grocery store because it’s guac o’clock.
How to Store Cilantro
1. First, snip off the bottom of your cilantro stems (about two inches from the base should do the trick).
2. Fill a jar or drinking glass with water and place the herbs in it.
3. Place the jar or glass in the refrigerator and cover loosely with a plastic bag. (Just think of it as a mini greenhouse.)
4. Change the water every couple of days or when it starts to turn brown. And that’s it. Whenever you’re making a recipe that calls for cilantro, just take what you need from the fridge and keep the rest of the bunch in there. This genius method will keep your cilantro fresh for two to three weeks.
Tip: Keep the leaves completely dry until you’re ready to use them, then give them a quick rinse.
Wait, Can You Freeze Cilantro?
Yep, you definitely can (and should) freeze cilantro. Here’s how: Toss your herbs in a high-speed blender or food processor with a few tablespoons of water to make a puree. Transfer the mixture to ice-cube trays and place in the freezer. Then whenever you need some cilantro (which, for us, is pretty frequently), just pop out a cube or two, defrost and use.
How to Use Cilantro
Think beyond guacamole and use this citrusy herb as a tangy dressing for shrimp fajita salad or fish tacos. It also makes an excellent garnish for honey-lime glazed pork tenderloin. Perking up roasted vegetables is easy with a dollop of lime-cilantro butter. Or you know what? Just make yourself a bowl of guac and call it a day. We’re not here to judge.