How to Revive Wilted Herbs

Refrigerate fresh herbs in a terry-cloth sachet to keep them fresher, longer.
Refrigerate fresh herbs in a terry-cloth sachet to keep them fresher, longer. (Image: Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Fresh herbs will add flavor and beauty to any dish. Unfortunately, freshly picked or store-bought herbs have a short shelf-life and will begin to wilt in a matter of hours. The process of wilting occurs when the herbs lose moisture, leading their cell walls to collapse and brown. You can revive slightly-wilted parsley, sage or thyme to bring them back to life in order to garnish or flavor your spaghetti or summer salad.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl or sink
  • Ice and cold water
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Slotted spoon
  • Colander
  • Paper towel

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Fill a bowl or clean sink with ice and cold water. The amount of water and ice required will depend upon the amount of herbs you are attempting to revive.

Remove any severely wilted and browned areas from the herbs with your fingers or kitchen scissors. Also remove any parts of the herbs that are not required for the recipe, such as stems.

Lower the herbs into the ice bath. Add more ice or water to the bath if necessary. Push the herbs down gently to immerse them in the water.

Allow the herbs to remain for 15 to 30 minutes. The cool water will help strengthen the herbs, removing some of the signs of wilting.

Remove the herbs from the ice bath with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander. Rinse the herbs under a cool tap and set them onto a paper towel.

Set a second piece of paper towel onto the herbs and apply gentle pressure to remove any excess water. Refrigerate the herbs in a zippered plastic bag or use.


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