How to Keep Basil Fresh

To keep basil fresh, make sure it stays out of the refrigerator, 1POINT21GW says. Basil is native to warm climates, so it's sensitive to cold. One way to keep it fresh and unwilted is to treat it like cut flowers: Once you get it home, give the stems a fresh cut and stick the bunch in a glass of water. JaneEYB uses this method, which can keep basil fresh and healthy for a week. Change the water every couple of days, and make sure no leaves are below the water line (they get slimy and gross, JaneEYB says). Trim the ends if the leaves start to droop, says OCEllen, who has even seen basil take root in water—and grow for six weeks!

And if you plan to cook your basil rather than using it fresh, you can wash, chop, and freeze it, then use as needed, Chowbird says. The texture will soften from freezing, but that won't matter in cooked dishes.

Discuss: Best way to keep fresh basil fresh?

Photograph by Chris Rochelle/ CHOW.com

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