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How to store basil: instructions for storing fresh or dried basil. From the freezer to basil in oil, salted or dried and chopped.
Basil in the kitchen
The basil is one of the aromatic plants most appreciated by all those who love to cook. This goes perfectly with first courses both in white and with sauce, based on meat or fish.
Basil has a unique scent and is also suitable for the preparation of second courses and to flavor cheese-based dishes, such as Caprese, which among its ingredients includes: tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella.
Anyhow, the basil it adapts to different preparations, given its fragrant yet delicate aroma. A small problem, however, with basil and its seasonality. This aromatic plant, which grows mainly in the summer months, becomes luxuriant with the heat and the summer. For information on the cultivation of basil: how to grow basil in pots. Inside the article, instructions for growing e to preserve red basil and the classic green basil.
In winter, basil plants suffer, do not produce leaves, and in some cases, if not cared for carefully, they die.
For this reason, it is good, take advantage of the summer time for to preserve in different but equally valid ways, basil throughout the year.
How to store basil, dried and chopped
In supermarkets, often in small bottles with spices it is possible to see dried and chopped basil, sold precisely to flavor sauces and first courses. This method of conservation, even if it involves shredding the leaves, still retains all the aroma and benefits of fresh basil leaves.
To prepare the dried basil, you have to follow a simple procedure:
1. take i bunches of basil, remove the earth and rinse them gently under water
2. let the basil dry for at least one night, on a dry cloth
3. Place the basil on a pan with holes, and let the plant dry for two or three days near the stove or fireplace.
4. Take the dried basil leaves, pass them in a food processor and then store them in special glass jugs.
Keep the basil in oil
An interesting method to preserve the basil is in oil. Placing the basil in oil allows you to use it for a long time without losing its aromas and pleasant taste. If you want to put the basil in oil, you will first have to wash and dry them fresh basil leaves. After drying them, place the leaves inside a jar, then first put a little salt on the bottom then put the basil leaves and finally pour the oil gradually until the entire jar is covered. Finally, insert a wooden toothpick to let all the air out of the oil, and then close everything and store in cool and dry place.
Storing fresh basil: freeze the leaves
The basil it is an aromatic plant, able to maintain its smell and taste even when frozen. If you want to freeze basil leaves, you will first have to detach them one by one from the plant and wash them gently. After which place them on a cotton cloth, and with another cloth, press on them, until the leaves are dry.
To freeze them whole, take a baking tray and cover it with baking paper. Finally, place the leaves on the pan and then leave them in the freezer for at least two hours. When they are frozen, you can take them one by one and store them in an airtight container suitable for the freezer. This way, you can use them at any time. In some cases, it is possible to preserve frozen basil, even chopping it first. This preparation is useful for whom wishes to use it in sautées. In this case, take the basil leaves, wash and dry them, after which chop them and place them in a small container for frozen foods.
How to preserve basil in salt
A not well known practice, which allows you to keep basil for long periods is the subsalt conservation. In this way, the basil will last a long time and thanks to the salt able to absorb moisture, it will not cause mold. To prepare salted basil, take the leaves of the plant, wash them and dry them carefully.
Now place them in a glass jar e pour over the fine salt. The procedure involves making a layer of basil and one of salt. You have to fill the jar up to a maximum of 5 cm from the edge, finally, you can cover everything with more salt. Finally, the jar should be stored in a dry and cool place and not exposed to the sun. If there is no need, gradually you use it you can add more salt.