When you receive, or buy for yourself, a bouquet of roses or any other flower, the first thing you’re advised to do is snip off an inch or so of the stem ends under running water, right? The reason is that, whatever the stems are exposed to is what they will draw up. A big gulp of air is not especially good for them.
Transfer the same principle to parsley, cilantro, basil, dill – common popular herbs we all either grow or buy, or both. As I’ve mentioned, no one can test the longevity of foods in the refrigerator better than I, and I finally grew weary of throwing away bag after bag after slimy, unidentifiable bag of something that used to be green and leafy.
All are watery herbs, as opposed to rosemary, thyme, and marjoram which are more woody. It took me a while to figure out that if, when I brought home or picked them, if I first filled a Mason jar or water glass with cool water, washed the leaves under running water, then held the stem ends under the running water and with scissors trimmed off about an inch from them and immediately plunked the “bouquet” into the jar/glass, I’d extend their useful life by a good week.
I keep jars of fresh herbs on my work table all the time now. They’re out of direct sunlight, and since they are in plain view, I use them much more often. I change the water daily, and I’d rather gaze upon them than roses any day. Besides, I always seem to have at least one cat who loves to chew on rose leaves for reasons which are mysterious to me. For now (so far) she hasn’t developed a craving for cilantro. Even better, I don’t have to worry about things going thunk in the night.