What is the best method for preserving basil? I clip it from my potted plant to keep it from getting rangy and then have put it into a ziplok bag and have thrown it in the freezer. It turns almost black and becomes shrivled looking. Is it still usable in this state or is there a better way to do it? I like it to look good on bruschetta or caprese salad. Thanks. JJ
What’s worked best for me is to just keep my basil plants going year round, and just letting the too old leaves go. I keep three plants (two greens and one red basil). You can keep the plants outside in the sun all summer, just don’t let them be exposed to temps below 45F. Then they won’t grow as well in winter, but if in a sunny window, they will still produce, just not as quickly.
Since I have that source of constantly fresh, I’ve given up on trying to save leaves that get too old.
Oh, and by the way;
When your plants get too ‘woody’, just clip a few fresh growths, put em in a glass of water half way, they grow roots in 10 days, and you can make new plants anytime.
Insanity, I never knew that about clip’n’grow basil. Thanks, I have a plant doing very well right now only I know in about 6-8 weeks it will be woody, now I’ll be able to keep it going. Thanks
i’ll try this too. I searched for a tip on how to preserve them not knowing that we have the option of growing them instead.
I’ve always thought I should add to this, coz it’s not as easy as it might sound.
Its best to use rain water if you can collect it. And best too, if you can clip the stem under water, and not expose to air. It will still root if air gets to it, but it takes longer.
And when 1st put in water, it will wilt. Just give it time, and the sprout will recoup.
And the same for when you transplant it to soil. Keep the soil very wet, but have the plant outdoors so the breeze can keep the top of the soil dryer. They need to be in water/soil, but if the top soil is keep too wet, they can rot. Not really as tricky as it sounds. You can use super dried soil from your oven to sprinkle on top of the soil to keep it drier.
The plant will once again look wilted and poorly for the 1st week. Just keep it wet, and it will recoup.
Good luck ! Just don’t let the wilting discourage ya’. As it roots better into the soil/water mix, ya’ can cut back on the water.
How about picking the leaves and laying them on dehydrator racks and drying them until fully dried then crumble them or grind in your spicer grinder or a Mortor/Pestle and then storing in a reuseable jar from some other spice, glass does not absorb the flavor of anything.
Remember, dried spices such as Basil get stronger when dried as the oils are still in the leavees and the moisture from water is gone making the flavors more intense. If you do not want a heavy taste of the Basil, or other spice, use it fresh from the plant but do not go overboard as some Greeks and Italians do when they are given a Basil or Oregano plant as a gift when movong into a new home or opening a Restaraunt.
I make pesto. It keeps for a long time if a layer of olive oil is floated on the top and kept in the fridge.