Tips for Preserving Basil

Try these ideas for drying and freezing basil.

By Ann McCormick

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To dry basil:

  • Don't tie basil stalks together or hang them to dry as you might other herbs.
  • Pinch or snip leaves from the stems and place them on a screen or absorbent towel.
  • Stir daily and allow to dry until crackly.
  • Store in an airtight container.

To freeze basil leaves:

  • Clip the leaves from the stems and rinse.
  • Spread them on a counter to air-dry for 30 minutes.
  • Loosely layer leaves in a storage bag and freeze.

To freeze pureed basil:

  • Clip the leaves from the stems and rinse.
  • Spread them on a counter to air-dry for 30 minutes.
  • Loosely layer leaves in a storage bag and freeze.
  • Place fresh cut leaves in a blender or food processor.
  • Process for a few seconds to coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Add enough water to form a slush and process again.
  • Pour this liquid into ice cube trays and freeze.
  • Once frozen, pop the cubes out of the trays and store them in a freezer container for later use.

 

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