How to Store Basil

IMG_4525One of the things I love about cooking is that no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. I’ve been writing professionally about food for seven years, so imagine my surprise when my dad taught me an amazingly simple, but 100 percent effective way to store basil. He came home from the farmers market with a bounty of summer produce along with a plastic bag of fragrant perfectly-ripe basil.

“K, the farmer who sold me this basil taught me a new way to keep basil,” my dad said.

Then he held the plastic bag in front of him and started twirling it toward him, twisting the ends shut and trapping the basil in a bubble of plastic bag. According to the farmer, sealing the unwashed basil in the plastic bag creates the same atmosphere as a green house and the basil will keep at room temperature for days without browning.

I was skeptical at first, but then to my astonishment, the basil stayed fresh for days — almost a week! Seriously you must try this technique. Here’s how you do it:

1. Place the unwashed basil in a large plastic bag that doesn’t have a zip lock.

2. Hold the bag in front of you and pinch the two ends, then flip it over, twirling it into the air, twisting it, so the ends form a seal and the basil is trapped in a plastic air bubble.

3. Place in a cool spot on the counter and keep for up to a week.

4. When you’re ready to use the basil, remove a few sprigs at a time and wash as you use. Keep the remaining basil in the airtight greenhouse by repeating the flipping action.

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