Three simple methods of drying Basil at home will ensure that your Basil harvest is extended well into the next year.
- Garden or Kitchen shears
- Basket or other container suitable for Basil sprigs
- Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
- Rubber Bands
- Clothes Drying Rack, Dry attic or porch
- Small Brown Paper Bags (optional)
1. Gather your Basil harvest in the morning hours after the sun has dried away the dew of the night.
2. Gather the sprigs into loose bundles and secure the stems with rubber bands to assure that the bundles stay together as they dry.
3. If using brown paper bags, cover each bundle with the bags that have slits cut into the sides to allow for adequate air flow around the herbs. The paper bags keep dust off of the Basil, as it dries and the sunlight from bleaching out the color. Care must be taken to make sure that enough air flows through the bag to keep the Basil from molding. Check occasionally to make sure, and, if need be either cut more holes in the bags or remove them. Sometimes the moisture builds up inside the bag, especially if the sun hits it, allowing fungus and mildew to form.
4. Hang upside down in a warm, dry place such as an attic or porch until the leaves are brittle to the touch, approximately 2 weeks.
5. Gather the dried bundles and place on a sheet of wax paper.
6. Crumble the dried leaves and separate out all of the tough stems onto the wax paper.
7. Store in an air tight container in the pantry for use in cooking.
These air tight jars can be stored in a dry, dark place such as your pantry or cupboard, or even your freezer, with proper care.
Dried Basil can be used in sauces, gravi