My friend Karen once had, what I now refer to, as the “mother-load” of Basil harvest. She handed me an armful bouquet of Basil… and she still had more to spare. I have yet to experience such a harvest again. So now, because Basil can be so persnickety in the garden, and because I love it so much, I rarely take Basil for granted. When it’s here, and it does grow, I use it or save it.
But how do you save Basil? You can always make batches of pesto, leaving out the cheese, and freeze portions… that works well…but what if you just want to preserve the Basil leaves?
Freezing makes it slimy… and can’t even imagine blanching it. Drying Basil strips the herb of its flavor, stripping away the oils. Then, I found this…
You can preserve it in oil — but only if you follow this safe method to prevent botulism.
preserving basil in salt.
To preserve Basil in salt, simply layer sea salt in a jar, and add basil leaves. Keep the salt jars in the freezer and use the
basil within six months based on experience, indefinitely! This is great for preserving the individual leaves and keeping them intact. They will darken, but still be fresh, years later.
Then, you can kick it up a notch and do this: How to Make Basil Salt>>>
Basil salt is for cooking and recipes — and makes a nice addition to winter soups — the freshness of summer plopped into your wintry tomato bisque soup.
Please read this to learn how to preserve basil in oil and prevent botulism! This is vitally important as you cannot taste or smell botulism!
This is RIGHT on time! A friend gave me a freshly picked bushel of basil today and I was wondering how to preserve it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Does this work with other herbs? (I’m thinking specifically of cilantro)
would a freezer bag work as well as glass?
Yes… it would work! Just be careful to keep it steady when unloading the precious cargo!
Yes! It does. All herbs can be preserved in this way. And don’t forget edible flowers — and how pretty that would look!
What a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, my basil “crop” was pitiful this year, but I’ll be ready for next year!
Do you think that sea salt is a must? What about coarse kosher salt? I have too much of it, but no sea salt!
Love this idea!! Will do it tonight if I can!
Will the glass Jar break though?
I am also wondering if you can use any other salt. I just did a small jar with sea salt but do not have enough to do more. Thanks!
I would not use an iodized salt… kosher salt or pickling salt will work!
Oh this is welcome advice. I just started to plant herbs (Sage, basil, rosemary, thyme) and would throw out the unused remains from the garden since I had so much left over.
I will use this method, now that I found out how to save these herbs.
Thank you so much
I learned recently of another way to preserve herbs: Take an ice tray and place several leaves in each hole. Then add olive oil to almost cover the leaves. Freeze overnight and transfer to a plastic bag. This way, you get the fresh herb & the olive oil you’ll probably need in your recipe. Remember to write the herb’s name if you’re freezing different types.
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great tip! I will try this. My basil did great this year and I’ve been making lots of pesto, but I will try to preserve leaves as well.
amazing!! must try this…im tired of buying those tiny pathetic looking bunches at the supermarket but as you say freezing my own doesnt work.Thanks a bunch:)
Very good ideas and I will try them.
This idea for freezing my basil is awesome,just in time for our first real hard freeze.
thanks – this is really helpful. i have a nearly indestructible basil plant, but can not eat all of the leaves it produces. I hate throwing them away! Thank you for this! (plus i HATE pesto, so that has not been an option 🙂 )
Thanks for all your ideas, I am destant to try everyone of them for preserving herbs.
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Let me make sure I understand: freeze for 6 months and then it lasts for years?
Yes… the biggest problem is keep it from getting moisture… sometimes putting rice in the bottom of the jar helps.
Your recipe says to use in 6mo. But then goes on to say it will last for yrs…?? Which is it? Plz don’t spam my email , a clear answer is all I need thanks in advance.
Yes, when I originally found the recipe, that was the recommendation from the source. But I have now had my salt for five years, and it is still the same! I’m still using it. In fact, I put all of the salt and leaves in a coffee grinder, and made a shakeable green salt. So, thank you for pointing this out. I have updated the post to reflect this discovery.
Doesn’t the basil absorb the salt? Hubby and I have to be careful with our salt intake. Thank you for your input! Have a blessed day!
Not really! It just seems to keep the basil crisp.
AWESOME!! That is what we will do with our Basil harvest this year! Now we will have fresh Basil year round instead of having to buy the dried at the store! We just gave it away as we didn’t know how to preserve it. Thank YOU Susiej!
I can not find any instructions anywhere on the making of the basil salt. Am I missing something? I clicked on every link I could find regarding the making of basil salt.
Here’s the link to the Basil Salt! I’m not sure why it’s not working — if you click on the picture of the Basil Salt in the post, and also the words, Basil Salt, it should take you right there? Is it not showing up? Let me know… thanks.
I tried clicking on everything, the links that were active just loop back to the same place and never go to instructions. I tried again on my phone and also on my desk top PC.
My goodness Paula! You are definitely right. Thank you for showing me there is some kind of glitch in my website — and being so patient while I figured this out. Things are now fixed, and I have recovered the post. I am pasting the recipe here — but you can now find it, I hope, here:
With a just a few pulses of your coffee grinder, you can preserve your fresh basil in salt, and enjoy the fresh flavor all year long. Here’s the recipe for Basil Salt:Â
Can you freeze salt packed basil in glass jars?
This looks so good! What a fun gift to make for friends or to enjoy yourself!
Thanks for sharing! Can I make with other kinds of herbs?