Best way to keep fresh basil?

Got a couple bunches of really nice basil. I will use one for pesto and I want the other to last at least 5 days.

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Pegeen
Pegeen July 16, 2013

Put the bunch in a jar of water but keep the leaves above the water level. Put a plastic bag or baggy over the top of the bunch to create a tent over the glass. Refrigerate. If the water gets cloudy, change it.

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SMSF
SMSF July 16, 2013

I use Pegeen's technique (almost) and it's always a success. I snip a few holes in the bag to promote air circulation, and keep the whole basil bouquet on the countertop instead of the refrigerator. My kitchen stays relatively cool, lucky me : )

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Pegeen
Pegeen July 16, 2013

That made me curious so I did a quick search and it turns out it's better not to refrigerate basil which can turn the leaves black, just to keep at room temp. It gets used up so fast around here I don't think I've ever had it in the fridge long enough to find out!

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Carlos
Carlos July 16, 2013

Nice! Thank you. I will try both to see what works better for the ambient temp we have out here!

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Frankie
Frankie July 16, 2013

I clean it, snap off the tough stems, pat it dry and place it between two paper towels and then place that in a ziploc bag that is big enough for the basil and paper towels to lay flat. Store in the refrigerator.

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anna karina
anna karina July 16, 2013

If u have a lot you can freeze it. You just have to chop it and put it in a Tupperware. Make sure it's not humid before freezing. It comes handy to have a Tupperware with frozen herbs when cooking :)

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff July 17, 2013

I cut off the stem ends, put it in a glass of water, and place it on the windowsill behind my sink. Often, not always, it sprouts roots, and when that happens it keeps for weeks. Sometimes weeks and weeks.

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Maedl
Maedl July 17, 2013

I wash the basil, then wrap it in a kitchen towel to remove most of the water. I don't remove the leaves from the stem. I lay the basil out on a paper towel, roll it all up and put it in a plastic bag. I store it in the refrigerator and find that it lasts--no black leaves!--for about a week.

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick July 17, 2013

Maedl, I'm curious -- why do you wash the basil before storing it? Why not leave it dry and wash it as you use it?

Maedl
Maedl July 17, 2013

Two reasons, actually. I think the residual amount of moisture after I wrap it in a towel helps keep the basil--and just about any herb--fresh. The paper towel ends up just a bit damp and seems to extend the herb's shelf life. The second reason is convenience--I get everything washed in one go and it is ready to use for cooking.

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