Sunday, September 13, 2009

Drying Basil

Drying basil is very simple, and there are several tried and true methods for doing it. The first is to merely hang it in bundles. This does tend to discolor the basil so you should place a thin layer of stripped leaves in between two folded sheets of newspaper. You can then hang it on a wire rack and turn it twice a day until completely dry. The paper will reduce the discoloration and oxidation that it would go through without the paper. Some basil lovers like to dry their herb on a special basil-drying screen and then finish the process by baking it in the oven.

When you are drying basil in the oven you should first remove all the stems from the plant leaves. Then, after tearing the basil leaves into tiny pieces, you can lay the pieces on a baking sheet. The oven should be no higher than 350 degrees to reduce the risk of browning. It should take approximately 7 - 10 for the leaves the thoroughly dry, but it may take less time in electric ovens. You should bake them until they are crumbly, but take them out before they turn brown. If this happens you won't be able to use the basil because of the burnt taste it may have. Once your basil has cooled you want to crumble it up more in order to refine it to how you like it. Another way is to use a sieve to help to thin out the basil leaves.


Dustjacket Attic said...

Thanks for those tips, I love the smell of basil.

Anonymous said...

Hey there!
New to your blog... and have enjoyed my visit. LOVE your cats.

Chrissy said... who do I know that has some basil I can steal???? Talk to you soon,Chrissy

Anya said...

FUN :)

hugs to all
Kareltje =^.^=

City Girl said...

Very helpful post :)

And send your pearl in anytime - no rush :) I will publish it whenever you send it :)

Anonymous said...

Neat! We've never dried basil before... xo

Laurie said...

I love using basil and it is one of the herbs that grows really nice down south. I especially like it on an open face tomato sandwich!

Pam said...

Why have I never thought to do this? Thanks for the great tips.

fairmaiden said...

I did not know this. I always grow herbs but rarely dry them...thyme is the only one...I have some drying right now. I get too impatient. Yours is lovely hanging out to dry...and I noticed the vintage apron:O) so glad you like it!

I forgot to tell you that the pink flowers in the pot below are so cheerful.

Anne Marie said...

OMGoodness!! I seriously cannot believe that you listen to Mindy Smith....who else even knows about her? no one in my circle! (except now of course)

i really need to catch up here!!

Cynthia's Cottage Design said...

Hi Michelle!

I love homemade dried basil! Thanks for sharing! , I have a whole bunch I need to do before it gets killed by a frost! I just made some homemade sauce and took a big chunk, but I think if I don't dry it all now or freeze it, I will miss out :)

Thanks sweetie! Hope you have a great week!

Hugs, Cynthia xo

The Blonde Duck said...

How neat! I've never tried to dry my own herbs.

Zaroga said...

I looked at my basil today and it is all blooming. I haven't dried any or frozen any.

I'm glad Mocha is feeling better.

Cheesy eggs sound nice.

Quincy is so cute!

It is going to be a busy week for me. We are going to leave Sunday to visit our daughter for a week. So shopping and packing and hopefully... we will work in a visit to Mama tomorrow.

I hope to visit before we leave, but if I don't. I wish you and the kit kats the happiest of times :-)

Thanks for visiting my blog. Oh on the chicken and rice casserole. Frank says the chicken part is just there.. the good part is the rice :-)

Zaroga said...

Oh such a nice tip! I bet you are cooking up a storm with that generous chunk of dried basil right now!

fiberdoodles said...

Oh this is so helpful. My daughter gave me a sweet pot with basil growing in it for my birthday and I am so herb challenged ;)