Fresh basil does not last very long once you wash it off. If you’re using the herb for your dish right away, you can use it several days before it starts to lose its flavor.
Fresh basil has a much shorter shelf life than dried basil, so you should store it in a cool, dark, dry place where it will keep for several weeks to a month if you do not use it.
If you do need to keep basil fresh for more than a few days, keep it refrigerated.
Fresh basil has a tendency to turn rancid quickly, so refrigerate it and use within a few days. How Long Should I Put Dry Basil Away?
For dried basil, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, but it should be soaked first in a mixture of 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup water, and 1/2 cup of warm water.
Add 3 basil leaves to 1 cup of this mixture and place in a dark, cool place for 1 to 2 days, rinsing each time with cool water until no basil flavor remains.
As for fresh basil, you can use it within a few days, but remember, it’s just starting to lose its flavor.
Dried Basil Drying Method Drying basil is easy. Just wash it, spread out on a baking sheet, and place in a very hot oven ( 400-425° F) for about 30 minutes or until wilted.
Fresh basil may be one of the first ingredients I reach for on a regular basis, but this versatile herb comes with a catch:
Most grocery stores only sell it in little pots, so there’s really no way to easily bring it home.
These recipes solve that problem and bring home-made pesto, basil pesto pasta, and more to your doorstep every time you buy a little bunch.
First, avoid looking for “leaf” basil. When you get it home, these little seedlings are unlikely to ripen and will take much longer to use.
Instead, look for “hand-harvested” or “seeded,” which means the leaves are large enough to see them and very much want to be consumed.
So buy a bunch of (very) clean, long-stemmed basil (4 to 6 inches long), and make the most of it.
Think of basil as more of a seasoning than a single herb, so treat it like any other vegetable—chopping, adding, and stewing over the stove. There are a few ways to do this:
Grill or char the leaves with a little olive oil, salt, and garlic.
Crack the basil out of its large leaves, slice, and add to roasted sweet potatoes, rice, or quinoa.
Grill chopped fresh basil in olive oil, salt, and garlic for 15 minutes or until soft.
Bake an over-easy egg in the microwave with a pinch of dried basil leaves.
Cook slices of any vegetable in a small amount of oil, then sprinkle the basil on top, including apples, summer squash, okra, mushrooms, red bell pepper, cauliflower, tomatoes, or green beans.
The basil oil will retain a mild basil flavor.
For a DIY cream sauce, combine a tiny amount of chopped fresh basil, low-fat Greek yogurt, and a bit of heavy cream in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
Sprinkle the basil evenly over the roasted sweet potatoes.
For dessert: Top roasted sweet potatoes with strawberry salsa and basil.
Recipe provided by Chef Daniel Scroggin of Evergreen Pastures