As one of the most commonly used herbs for cooking, basil not only can bring your food a delightful smell with a fresh taste, but also can add loads of nutrients to your meal, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, iron, and calcium. In addition, when it comes to food garnishing, fresh basil leaves can certainly enlighten your food. The mushroom bites look a lot cuter with the small leaves on top, don’t they?
However, if you buy some fresh basil for making a specific dish, you are probably not going to finish all of it at once. Fresh basil doesn’t last very long. Even if you keep them in the fridge, you will still find the shape of the leaves goes wither and the color turns black in about 3-4 days. I learned my lesson!
So I was looking for a way to prevent it from happening again…
There are probably more methods to store fresh basil. Freezing it seems to be a pretty efficient way (I haven’t tried this way yet as I would like to use basil frequently for my cooking), but I found storing it in the water to be the simplest method and I was very happy with the result.
According to my grocery shopping record, this bunch of fresh basil in the photos was purchased on August 9. (I have a little habit to keep track of certain things. Grocery shopping happens to be one of them.:P) The left photo was taken about one week after I bought it (on August 15). The right photo was taken on August 22, about two weeks after the purchase day. (I did want to show you the result, so I checked the dates on my camera.) See? It still look totally fresh and healthy! 😀
Here’s what I did to keep this big bunch of fresh basil on my kitchen counter for 3 weeks.
- Find a reasonably tall container, such as a jar or a small vase if you happen to have in hand. Apparently, a paper cup could do the trick too (see photos).:P Add some water in.
- Gently stick the basil into the water. Arrange it as if you arrange a bunch of flowers. Make sure the stems are covered by the water but not the leaves. Tear off some leaves near the end if necessary. (Just use the torn-off leaves for your upcoming meal – no wasting.)
- Loosely cover the leaves by a big plastic bag from the top to keep moisture stay in.
This bunch was all finished by now because I had been using it in my daily cooking. To use this method, keep it on your kitchen counter out of the sun so that you won’t forget about it. I changed the water once a week. It might or might not be necessary but I just like to keep things clean. 🙂
Here you have the result of my little experiment. Hope you find it helpful! Next time you have fresh basil in your kitchen, try it out. You will find it’s quite nice to have a little greenery on your kitchen counter. I am going to buy another bunch of basil now as somebody in my apartment is craving some eggplant casserole…