Has your CSA or farmers market been rich with beautiful basil this summer? Here’s how to store fresh basil to avoid wilting and reduce food waste!
We are already growing basil in our raised garden beds, so when my CSA delivered a big bunch of organic basil two weeks ago, I knew there was no way I’d be able to use it all before my family headed out of town for a summer beach vacation. This simple storage technique not only kept my basil fresh while I was away, but at the end I was able to add even more basil plants to my garden.
I originally shared this how-to over at Eat Drink Better, and Ketty from Luminous Vegans pointed out that this also works with scallions. You can also keep other herbs like cilantro, mint, or sage in water to help them keep longer, and if they sprout roots you can plant them just like I did with my basil!
She also said that she’d had trouble getting her basil to take root, so I’d love to hear from other folks who have tried this method! It’s worked great for me, but I normally get my basil in our CSA basket, which means it was picked either the morning it arrives or the evening before. I wonder if basil that sits in grocery stores for longer periods would have a tougher time taking root?
How to Store Fresh Basil
Next time you’re overwhelmed with fresh basil, here’s the best way to store it:
- Fill a tall glass with enough water to cover the stems but not touch the leaves. If necessary, remove and leaves that are low on your basil stems.
- Place your basil in the glass, and change the water every few days until you’re ready to use.
I pushed it by leaving mine when we headed out of town. It sat for 5 days on the windowsill. When I came back, some of the bunch had wilted, but there was still some basil that was good as new! Since I still had no plans to cook with it, I took that basil – which now was growing little roots – and planted it in the garden. We are going to feast on some pesto this summer, that is for sure!