Dried basil is a dried and concentrated form of fresh basil. It can be purchased in supermarkets or specialty spice stores. In addition to being able to be used in a many culinary dishes, it also can be applied as a natural curative to a variety of ailments. Buying dried basil means that its users can have the herb available all year round, regardless of whether the fresh herb is in season.
This dried herb can be easily purchased in the spice aisle of supermarkets. It is recommended, however, that consumers search for the dried form of basil in spice markets instead. The dried herbs found in spice stores can be of better quality than those found in supermarkets. If at all possible, products from organically grown herbs should be chosen, because spices made from organically grown herbs can contain important vitamins. When shopping for the dried herb, consumers should verify that it is sealed in an airtight container.
Cooks can find a variety of uses for basil that has been dried. The herb can be added to pizza sauce, pasta, omelets, marinades and even tea. The dried form of basil can have some medicinal properties, as well. Infections in the respiratory, nose and throat systems can be cleared up using basil. People who suffer from asthma, diabetes, nausea and other stomach problems can also benefit from the use of the herb.
One of the common complaints about dried basil is that it doesn't taste as fresh or as flavorful as fresh basil. Although this can be true, the dried variety also is a suitable alternative to fresh basil if no fresh basil is available. Generally, when cooks need to substitute fresh basil with dried, they will measure out about one-third as much of the dried herb as the amount of fresh basil they would use. This is because dried basil is about three times as potent as fresh basil.
The dried version of basil can be stored in a cool, dark place for about six months before its flavor begins to change. People who want to avoid using dried basil can look into growing their own basil plants at home. If homeowners grow their own plants, they can have their own supply of basil on hand whenever the need for basil arises in the kitchen. Cooks also might consider drying their own basil at home using fresh basil bought at a store or picked from their own gardens.