Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm
Proper care requires regular pruning basil. The cuttings are much too good to go to the compost. What is not immediately consumed, you can preserve in many ways. We tell you how to do it.
Basil perfectly dry in the air and in the oven.
To preserve by air drying, pluck the leaves from the shoots. Cleaned under running water, pat the foliage dry with a kitchen towel. Now tie all the leaves with a stem into small bundles with wire or raffia ribbon. Suspended in the airy attic, the basil bunches will dry within two weeks. Dry leaves without stems in the oven. Here’s how:
- spread the clean leaves on a baking sheet
- dry in the oven at 50 degrees top and bottom heat or circulating air function
- leave the oven door slightly open
Freezing royal herb – this is how it works with and without blanching.
Chefs recommend blanching basil before freezing. In this way, you preserve a large part of the unique aroma at the same time. Here’s how to do it:
- Immerse basil leaves in boiling water for 5-10 seconds.
- immediately rinse in ice water and dry on kitchen paper
- spread the leaves on a plate and pre-freeze in the freezer
- then put them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer.
- If blanching is too time-consuming for you, pre-freeze the washed herb leaves without this intermediate step and fill them into freezer cans. An even quicker way is to place the washed leaves in the compartments of an ice cube tray. Simply fill with water and freeze – ready.
The culinary variant of preservation – delicious pickling.
Here, preservation and preparation go hand in hand. If you pickle freshly harvested basil in oil, it is both durable and delicately refined. To do this, put the washed leaves in a food processor. While chopping, drizzle olive oil until you get a creamy pesto. In a glass bottle, the sauce will keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks. Frozen, you’ll preserve the seasoning for several months.
Gourmets among amateur gardeners preserve a particularly bountiful harvest surplus by pickling the royal herb in salt. The result is a food seasoning that adds a special touch to Mediterranean dishes. How to do it:
- grind freshly harvested, washed leaves and mix them with sea salt
- spread the wet salt on a baking tray
- let it dry in the oven at 50 degrees
- turn it in the meantime so that it does not form lumps
- put the appetizing green colored salt into a shaker or an airtight container
Tips & Tricks
Homemade basil vinegar is a hit in Mediterranean cuisine. To make it, put the leaves in a bottle and pour white wine vinegar over them. A clove of garlic adds a special zing to the mixture. After 8-10 days, the vinegar is ready, so the leaves and garlic clove can be strained. In this way you preserve basil for 12 months and longer.