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Old 07-19-2007, 09:42 AM   #1
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ISO How to Dry Basil and Other Herbs

What is a good way to dry basil? I don't have a dehydrator. Thanks for your help.

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Old 07-19-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
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Place the leaves on a cooling rack or screening and place it in a cool dry area with some air flow until dry.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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I wash mine and hang them upside down in my downstairs bathroom.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:45 AM   #4
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I once heard the microwave for a couple minutes or in the oven at low temperature.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:40 PM   #5
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If I were you I wouldn't bother. Dried basil, like dried tarragon, only retains its flavor for a few months at best. After that it - like dried tarragon - tastes like dried lawn grass.

Your basil is better served if you put it into a blender or food processor with just a dollop or two of olive or vegetable oil & then freeze it. You can use ice-cube trays, or just place dollops on a sheet of wax paper on a baking sheet. Freeze till solid & than place the frozen dollops in a Ziploc bag to use as you wish. Truly - you'll get much more flavor from your basil than by drying it, & a bagfull of the frozen "dollops" doesn't take up much space in the freezer.
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
If I were you I wouldn't bother. Dried basil, like dried tarragon, only retains its flavor for a few months at best. After that it - like dried tarragon - tastes like dried lawn grass.
I beg to disagree. My dry basil from last summer is still very potent. As is my rosemary. In fact, I have some basil from 2 summers ago that is still plenty fine.

There are a lot of things I prefer to use dry herbs for. If I don't grow it and dry it myself, I buy from Penzeys.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:29 PM   #7
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How long does it take for the herbs to dry when upside down? Does it loose some of its fragrance?
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:39 PM   #8
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I have a hard time hanging herbs -- they seem to get dusty and cobwebby (I live in a 155 year old house, and old houses seem to breed cobwebs) and even mildewy in the humid summer months (no A/C in the rooms I'd be inclined to hang them in). They also suffer if there is too much light. I find the besst way to preserve basil is to puree in a food processor with olive oil (or a more neutral oil if you want to use it in Asian foods) and garlic, then bag and freeze. I used to dry sage in the microwave, but twice caused fires when doing that, so now give the sage pretty much the same treatment. I used to just bring in my rosemary plant, but it died for some reason this year.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:04 PM   #9
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I have dried them by hanging them as others mentioned. I also froze the leaves in a plastic bag. For some reason (maybe age!) I can't remember how the frozen version turned out. I know the hanging method worked. I now just have small inside pots of herbs and do miss growing them in the garden.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:09 PM   #10
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I freeze mine the same way the Breezy does it. I put in ice cube trays and bag it and it is great for sauce and pesto in the winter.
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