With the temps hovering in the high 30's at night, I thought it best to harvest all of my basil before I lost it due to a freeze. Ideally, you want to harvest your basil before it begins blooming. It is said that once the basil blooms it changes the flavor somewhat. Being the great rule follower that I am, I generally push that a bit. And if I see some blooms and Im not ready to use my basil then I just pinch the blooms off and that gives me a few more days.
So, after I hauled all that basil inside, I then decided to take it back out to the patio so I could cut of all the roots.
But, before I could do that G wanted to pick out some basil plants for grammy.
A little discussion over just which ones are going to go in the bag.
This one, while upside down, must have made the cut.
Grammy listening very intently to my instruction on how to make the pesto.
After I gave grammy her basil and she made her way home that meant that I had to get to work. Sigh. The weighing of the basil begins.
This is what one pound of basil looks like.
This is what one boy doing his homework and five pounds of basil looks like.
I decided to dry all this basil since I have some pesto stored in the freezer already.
Most of the basil I tied into little bundles of about 2 stems or so.
I did read tho, that you could tear the leaves off the stem, and put them in a dish and dry them out that way. Making sure to toss them around a bit every day to help them dry out. I thought I would give that a try this time as well and see which process I preferred.
After doing that, I grabbed my trusty stool and headed downstairs.
Then I hung all my little bundles up.
It normally takes about a week to dry them out fully. And they will begin to brown and look not very pretty. But thats okay. Once they are thoroughly dry all you have to do is strip all the leaves off the stems and smash them up a bit. Store them in an airtight container and you can have freshly dried basil all winter long. It makes a very nice addition to pasta sauces, pizza sauces, and many kinds of soups.