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 Snack Master Express Food Dehydrator.
When was the last time you made pesto?
How to Dehydrate Basilmischyf.com
- Mesh Screen
- 1 Bundle Basil
- Add mesh screen to dehydrator tray
- Remove leaves from stem
- Rinse in cool water and pat dry
- Lay leaves out on trays making sure to leave room for airflow
- Dehydrate at 190-110F/43C degrees
- When dry the leaves are brittle and will crumble in your hand
- If using in the near future, crumble and place in a spice jar. If not leave in chunks and crumble as you need them. Store in a mason jar and vacuum seal.