How to store basil to have it even in winter – Italian Cuisine

How to store basil to have it even in winter


Among the aromatic plants, basil is the one that best represents Mediterranean cuisine. With its unmistakable and pervading scent, it is the ingredient that you cannot do without to give freshness, flavor and color to every dish. Keep it even after the summer? You can, here's how

From spring to late summer there is no balcony or even just a window sill from which the unmistakable terracotta pot in which the basil grows flourishes does not appear. King of aromatic plants, (its name in Greek means royal herb), it has always been used for its therapeutic qualities and to flavor foods. There are about 40 varieties, but the most common are the Genoese basil, very fragrant, and the Neapolitan basil, with a large leaf. Finding it fresh and fragrant in autumn and winter is at least complicated: for this, here are three ideas to keep it and enjoy it longer.

Freeze the leaves

It is a very easy method for storing basil. You have to collect the leaves, remove the seeds, wash them and dab them with paper towels. Once dry you must arrange them on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and put them in the freezer for about two hours. Once frozen, you can put them gently in an airtight container and put everything in the freezer. When you need them, all you have to do is take the quantity you need. The leaves will retain their scent and color for several months.

Store the leaves in fine salt

Take a resealable jar and fill it with basil leaves previously washed and dried carefully, so that they do not become moldy. Pour over the leaves of the fine salt, making several layers of salt and basil. Fill up to 5 cm from the edge and then cover with more salt. Close the jar and place it in a cool and dry place: the leaves will keep for as long as you want. When you need it, just take them and add salt to the jar.

Freeze a base for pesto

If you want you can prepare one base that will be useful for quickly cooking pesto. Chop the cleaned basil with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place the sauce in a glass container with a lid and freeze. At the time of use, all you have to do is thaw everything and add the parmesan, pecorino, garlic and chopped pine nuts to the sauce. A tip for singles: put the base for the pesto in the ice containers. If necessary, you will thaw only the dose you need.

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