Having made several rounds of pesto with the basil coming in, I decided to try something new — Dehydration.
I have very little experience drying herbs. (One failed attempt at air drying chives — not a method I would recommended.) Thankfully, drying herbs is not generally that hard! Especially if you have a dehydrator, then even a novice like me can do it.
Assemble your leaves on the racks, in a single layer. Overlap is not a bad thing so long as air can circulate.
These came from our indoor grow system, so I didn’t bother washing them.
If you purchase basil or pick it from the great outdoors, a gentle rinse and an air-dry on a towel work well to clean it.
Herbs dry in a dehydrator very quickly. (Mine took 30-45 minutes.) So check them every 10 minutes or so, and even more often towards the end. You know it’s done when the leaves are crispy crumbly between you’re fingers.
You don’t want this. . .
Limpy and soft.
If a few leaves are not quite as crispy, that’s okay. Go ahead and crumble them in with the rest. When you seal the jar or bag, the moisture content will redistribute evenly throughout herbs. That is, everything will even out — don’t worry about it.
NOTE: Crumbling the dried leaves can make a big mess. Make sure to do it inside a rather large bowl. Crumbling the leaves in a small bowl over the brand new table cloth you spread out yesterday is not recommended.
One the right is the freshly dried basil. One the left is a common store-bought brand of dried basil. The difference speaks for itself.