Thursday, July 30, 2009

Preserving herbs - basil

I planted about 50 basil plants this year because basil is a staple of my cooking. It forms the base of sauces for pasta, it makes a good herb rub for chicken and fish, and who can resist pesto?

Right now I've got a surplus of basil; waaay to much for me to eat or use, so I'm cutting and drying it, and putting it into airtight jars for use this winter.
This is what it looks like when it's all dry. I crumble the leaves and separate them from the stems. If you look in the store, dried basil sells for around $100/lb -- I figure I'll have 5lbs or so after this season.
It smells great, even dried.


sheila said...

I've been freezing batches of pesto, minus the pine nuts (I've read they don't survive the freezer well, maybe they get soggy?). Brings back summer when the snow is knee deep here.

Anonymous said...

it should be green not brown. try drying it faster.

Robin said...

This may be an odd question, but why isn't your dried basil green?

Bruce King said...

I'm drying it by hanging bunches in the greenhouse, which hits 120 degrees every day. The outside of the leaves turns brown, the inside is green. I don't know why it's not all green -- like hay, for instance, which is also sun-dried, but that's what I'm getting now. Open to suggestions on how to get a better color.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Dry it in the dark, like an attic or barn instead of direct sunlight.