How to Select and Store
- For the tastiest basil choose fresh over the dried. Look for fresh vibrant and deep green leaves without darks spots or yellowing.
- Buy organically grown basil; being leafy this means that if pesticides have been used they will be highly absorbed. Also, it has not been irradiated which decreases in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.
- Store fresh basil, wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in the refrigerator or in a glass of water at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Basil may be frozen, whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Some people freeze the basil in ice cube trays covered with either water to be added when preparing soups or stews.
- Store dried basil in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep up to six months.
- Grow a basil plant in the backyard for fresh leaves whenever you need some.
Tips for eating or cooking:
- Wash fresh basil in cold running water to remove any dust or pesticide residues.
- For the best flavour add at the last moment in the cooking recipes; prolonged cooking results in evaporation of its essential oils.
- Basil and tomatoes love each other! Also, basil works well with onions, garlic, and olives.
- When preparing basil for your recipes, it is the leaves that are the best but the small stems are okay. The thick stems are best discarded as they are bitter. Note: Stems contain compounds that will cause your pesto to turn brown and dark.
- The creamy white flowers are edible.
There are So Many Types of Basil, in fact 35 of them!
Check out this tasty Vegan Pesto recipe. It is so yummy!
Learn all about the health benefits of basil with fascinating trivia and our favorite basil recipes at : 7 Benefits of Basil – The Royal Herb