General Question

SamIAm's avatar

How to keep fresh basil from wilting?

Asked by SamIAm (8628 points ) July 11th, 2010

I just bought a beautiful, fresh bunch of basil from the farmer’s market yesterday and I put it in a glass of water near the window, but it’s looking quite sad.

How can I store it so it lasts longer?

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15 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Did you cut the sealed-over ends of the basil first?

SamIAm's avatar

@marinelife: what do you mean sealed-over ends? i didn’t do anything besides put it in water.

marinelife's avatar

@Samantha_Rae The ends of the basil, where it was cut before, have sealed over and it cannot take up water. You need to take the scissors and snip the very ends off of the basil so it can take up the water.

SamIAm's avatar

@marinelife: ohh brilliant, thanks!!!

sarahsugs's avatar

Also, put a plastic bag over the bunch of basil and tuck it down under the bottom of the jar. Or you can put a rubber band around the next of the jar. It creates a mini greenhouse for the basil. For me that has always worked to keep it fresh for at least a week!

BhacSsylan's avatar

I always put my fresh basil in the freezer after buying it. As long as you store it properly (mostly in a ziplock after squeezing out the air), it can keep for quite a long time without freezerburning. Just pull some out and let it thaw for a few minutes before using. That wouldn’t quite be the same thing you’re looking for, but it does serve to keep basil tasting fresh.

dynamicduo's avatar

If at all possible, try to buy your herbs with their roots attached. They can be put in a glass with water and will last a few more days than if they are cut.

Assuming they are already cut, there are a few methods you can use. I prefer to layer the herbs and paper towels and put the bundle into a ziploc bag which I take as much air out of as possible. This can make any picked herb last upwards of two weeks without rotting away. Works great with cilantro and basil.

breedmitch's avatar

If it’s looking sad when it comes time to use it, soak the removed leaves in room temperature water, not cold. This will enliven it before use. This also works for sad lettuce. The trick is room temp water, not cold.

janbb's avatar

For storing cilantro, I put it in a vase of water, put a ziploc bag loosely over the top and store it in the fridge. I usually use basil up faster, but I think the same method would be good for it.

llewis's avatar

I put freshly cut basil in a glass of water in indirect light, and it always roots and lasts for weeks. I tried putting it in an east window once and it was not happy there, but perked up when I set it on the counter instead. In soil it likes the window, but in water it doesn’t.

SamIAm's avatar

I ended up making basil, thanks guys!!

janbb's avatar

You mean pesto?

breedmitch's avatar

Only god can make basil.

SamIAm's avatar

hahaha, yeah, my bad!

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