Wash And Process Basil Properly

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm

Tomato mozarella or pizza without fresh basil leaves, it is unthinkable, because this herb provides the Italian moments in the kitchen with its unique aroma. However, so that the flavor is not lost during washing, there are a few things to consider.


Clean basil
Prepare the culinary herb as follows:

  • Cut off the leaves with the stem.
  • Rinse briefly but thoroughly under running water.
  • Pluck off individual leaves by hand.
  • Carefully pat dry with kitchen paper.

Wash And Process Basil Properly

Then cut the leaves into fine strips with a very sharp knife. For pesto, you can now put the leaves directly into the electric multi chopper.

Wash basil and dry it for the spice stash.
Harvest basil that you want to dry only when the leaves are strong and no longer too soft, because the essential oil content is highest just before flowering.

The ideal time is late morning on a dry day, when the dew has dried. If the sun is already very high at noon, it is too late for harvesting, because the strong sunlight quickly volatilizes the essential oils of basil. The dried herb then tastes bland.

  • Cut off whole shoot tips with sharp, clean scissors.
  • Gently shake out the stems to remove any coarse dirt.
  • Discard yellow and diseased leaves.
  • Wash briefly under running water and pat dry.
  • Very gently dry the herb in a warm, dark and well-ventilated place.
  • Tie the shoots into small bunches and hang them upside down.
  • You can tell if the culinary herb is dried by the rustling of the leaves when touched.
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Alternatively, you can dry the washed basil in the oven at the lowest temperature or in the dehydrator.

Is it okay not to wash?

Most of the basil jars you can buy in the supermarket are sprayed. Therefore, to be sure that the herb is not contaminated, it should be rinsed in any case. Even with organic produce, it is advisable to wash it.

Since with basil from the garden you do not know what animals have crawled over it, thorough cleaning is also recommended.

Plant basil bought at the supermarket in fresh substrate as soon as possible. Herbs available there have not only undergone great stress due to transport, usually the nutrient content of the soil used is also too low for the strong herb. Basil placed in new soil lasts for many months and does not die within a few days, as is so often the case.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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