Proper care requires regular pruning of basil. The clippings are far too valuable to end up in the compost. Anything that is not consumed immediately can be preserved in a variety of 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. All leaves with a stalk are now tied together into small bundles with wire or raffia ribbon.
Hanging up in the airy attic, the bunches of basil dry within two weeks. Dry the stemless leaves in the oven. That’s how it’s done:
- spread the clean sheets out on a baking sheet
- dry in the oven at 50 degrees (122F) top and bottom heat or convection function
- leave the oven door slightly open
Freeze Basil – 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:
- Dip basil leaves in boiling water for 5-10 seconds
- Rinse immediately in ice water and let dry on kitchen paper
- Spread the leaves out on a plate and pre-freeze in the freezer
- then fill into freezer bags and store in the freezer
If blanching is too time-consuming, pre-freeze the washed herb leaves without this intermediate step and fill them in freezer boxes. It’s even quicker by placing the washed leaves in the compartments of an ice cube tray. Simply fill up with water and freeze – done.
The culinary way of preservation
Here, preservation and preparation go hand in hand. If you put freshly harvested basil in oil, it is both durable and delicately refined. To do this, fill the washed leaves into the food processor.
While chopping, drizzle in olive oil until a creamy pesto is formed. The sauce can be kept refrigerated in the glass bottle for 2-3 weeks. Frozen, you can preserve the wort for several months.
The connoisseurs among the hobby gardeners preserve a particularly lush crop surplus by pickling the basil in salt. The result is a food seasoning that gives Mediterranean dishes a special touch. How to do it:
- grind freshly harvested, washed leaves, and mix with sea salt
- Spread the wet salt on a baking sheet
- leave to dry in the oven at 50 degrees (122F)
- Turn occasionally so it doesn’t clump
- Fill the appetizing green colored salt into a shaker or an airtight container
Homemade basil vinegar is a hit in Mediterranean cuisine. To do this, the leaves are placed in a bottle and white wine vinegar is poured over them. A clove of garlic gives the mixture a special twist.
After 8-10 days the vinegar is ready, the leaves and garlic cloves can be strained out. This way you can preserve basil for 12 months and longer.