You can't imagine your favorite pasta bolognese or sauce without the magical scent of basil, can you? Basil is one of the most fragrant spices in Italian cuisine, Arabic cuisine and in Bulgarian cuisine. It is used in a number of tomato sauces, pasta and soup recipes.
It is no coincidence that basil is called the royal spice. Basil is used to make the famous balsamic vinegar (in combination with tarragon and dill).
Basil is one of those plants that can be easily be dried and stored in airtight jars to retain its unique aroma for two years.
You can always buy dried basil from the store, but there is nothing complicated about making it at home yourself. All you need is a little fresh basil and a free space.
You can dry the basil as it is in a bunch or tear off only its leaves and dry them separately. When drying a basil bunch, you should tie the stems at the bottom and hang them in a dry and ventilated place.
If you decide to dry the individual leaves, it is good to choose medium-sized leaves. Tear them off and spread them on a newspaper or thin cloth. Leave them for a few days in a dry and shady room, then store them in an airtight jar.
In case you do not have a suitable place or you just do not want to wait ten days until the basil dries, you can dry it in the oven. Put its leaves in a preheated oven at 100°F (40°C) for 30 minutes, then let it cool and store it somewhere.
Dried basil will retain its magical aroma for at least 2 years. We recommend that you add the spice at the very end of the cooking process when cooking lamb with basil or aromatic pizzas with basil.