This year I overplanted the basil. I gave away lavish bouquets of Genovese and purple basil, made large batches of pesto, and froze basil leaves using Margaret Roach’s ingenious “log technique”, (which of course works great for other leafy herbs as well) yet it just kept growing and my basil patch still looked almost untouched.
I eventually cut down all the basil before the onset of cold weather. After stripping the leaves off the stems, I washed and spun them dry in the salad spinner, and spread them out on trays lined with kitchen towels. After the leaves were completely dried and brittle I crumbled them finely. The mix of green and purple looks especially nice. However the crumbling process created quite a bit of “basil dust” that made me gasp for air so I am seriously thinking of wearing one of those disposable air filter masks next time.
A basil jungle is not such as bad thing after all. Now I have a jar of dried basil that I am portioning into pouches to send as little favors to friends and family who did not get to taste fresh basil from my garden this summer.