When you know it’s going to snow and you have a large row of basil what do you do? You make dried basil so you can have the luxury of home grown basil all year long. After trying a number of different ways to dry my basil we found one way that maximizes both flavor and appearance.
First we hand pick only the best, non-blemished leaves. Bigger is easier in this case but it is not necessary. We wash the leaves in a bucket or bowl of water and lay them out on paper towels until they dry completely.
Leaving the leaves on the paper towels, we tear them into individual squares, placing another paper towel on top, sandwiching the leaves between 2 pieces of paper towel. Placing the leaf sandwich into the microwave we cook for 30 seconds and check to see if the leaves are dry. If they are not dry, we cook for another 30 seconds. We usually cook for 1 minute.
After all the leaves are dry, we put them into one big pile and crush by hand. We usually do this on top of a piece of paper and then use a funnel to pour into a seasoning bottle.
It will take a lot of leaves to fill a bottle but it is so worth the effort. Ours lasts all winter long.