Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jul 25, 2012 02:19 PM

Best way to keep fresh basil fresh?

Plastic bag? Or is some other technique better? There are 2 of us & I hate throwing it away after a (very) few days..

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Like lettuce, I wrap it in damp paper towels and then put it in a plastic bag. I've been able to keep basil (and lettuces) 7 to 10 days this way - occasionally re-dampening the towels, if needed.

    1. I put them in a glass of water and place a plastic bag over the top (in the frige, of course.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        If you're going to cook it (and not use it raw in salads), you should be able to wash, chop, and freeze it. I do this with parsley, mint, and green onions; that way when you need some, you can just grab a handful out of the freezer. The texture will soften, though, so you'll lose the crunch.

        1. Basil comes from warm climates and, therefore, suffers damage from the cold of a refrigerator. The best way, therefore, to store basil is to keep it out of the refrigerator. Treat it like a flower and simply keep the freshly cut stems in water at cool room temperature.

          1. I've had a bunch of basil sitting in a jug of water on my counter for a week and the leaves are still fresh and healthy. I change the water every couple of days and it helps if no leaves are below the water line as they get slimy and gross.

            1. I have found the best way to keep it fresh when I bring it home from the farmer's market, is to cut the ends off (like you would with fresh flowers) and keep it on the counter in a vase with keeps for quite a long time like this. It does better this way than in the fridge in water, I have found...

              1 Reply
              1. re: bostongal

                Ditto to all of the above posters who said to keep it out of the fridge & in water like flowers. I remove the rubber band, trim about an inch from the bottom, & stick it in water on my kitchen counter. If it was fresh-cut to begin with, it lasts for a good week or more at least this way. Since it's a tropical plant, the fridge isn't really the best place for it, although when pressed for space, & if freshly cut, I've had some last well for up 4 days or more. Really depends on when it was cut.