How To Dehydrate Basil
Basil, oregano, thyme are among the Italian seasoning flavors my family loves. If you think about it, you can find it in spaghetti, pesto, pizza, rigatoni, and many more dishes with the Italian flare. My ultimate favorite Italian dish is lasagna. All that yummy gooey cheesy goodness. Wonderfully flavored tomato sauce with all those scrumptious herbs. In my house, it makes for a family get together on a Sunday Summer afternoon. Today I’m going to dehydrate basil.
A few Facts on Basil
Basil originated in tropical areas in Central Africa and SouthWest Asia. Used worldwide. Also known as Great Basil or St. Joseph’s Wort.
Basil is a member of the mint family. It has a strong pungent sweet smell. The leaves have a flavor resembling anise. The flowers are edible.
Tomatoes are a companion plant to basil. The herb is mostly green but there are some varieties that are purplish in color. Also known as Purple Delight. Basil is sensitive to the cold. It grows best in hot, dry climates. Unfortunately, once the herb flowers, the foliage stops growing.
Basil should be added during the last few minutes of cooking. Cooking it too long will ruin the flavor. Basil can be refrigerated or frozen after blanching. Basil is better if used fresh. After drying it starts to lose its flavor.
It is the main ingredient in pesto sauce. Your pesto turning brown is a known problem. Blanching the basil before using or drying keeps it from turning your pesto brown.
Time to Dehydrate Basil
I am not blanching my basil. Since I am dehydrating it, it is already going to be a greenish brown color when dry.
I know! I know! The stems are showing in the picture above. It was my first time drying basil. A lot of dehydrating is trial and error. I learned the hard way that if you keep the stems that it takes longer to dry.
My dehydrator is a NESCO FD-60 Snack Master Express Food Dehydrator.
When was the last time you made pesto?