Not to be confused with sweet italian basil, Persian basil, also called licorice basil, has a distinctive sweet anise flavor.
Look for whole, smooth leaves that are aromatic, bright green, and free of black spots. Avoid basil that is wilting or has moldy stems.
Place the leaves in a clean sink or large-enough bowl to contain all the leaves. Slowly run cool water over the leaves until they are mostly covered. Let them remain in the water for several minutes.Place your fingers in the bowl and gently swish or swirl the leaves around. If you notice any obvious dirt, focus on that leaf or stem section. Check each of the sections and individual large leaves, especially underneath, where dirt sometimes splatters upward from garden soils. Rinse them around, empty the water and add more. Repeat until all dust, dirt, debris, and insect matter is removed. Pour the water from the bowl or drain the sink and lift the out onto a clean kitchen drying towel. It will drain somewhat rapidly, then gently dab the leaves to remove any excess or remaining water. Alternatively, you can leave the top towel off and just let it air dry. Avoid crushing leaves prematurely
Basil is a very touchy herb. In order to keep it fresh for longer than a day, you should process it as soon as you receive it. Here is the best way we have found to keep your basil fresh:
Step 1: Gently wash the basil in room temperature water. Be sure the water is not too hot or too cold. Swishing the basil in a bowl of water is the easiest way to remove dirt without damaging the leaves.
Step 2: Pad the basil dry with a towel.
Step 3: Lay basil out on new (dry) towels and using a fan, allow it to air dry.
Step 4: Once completely dry, wrap basil in a cloth or paper towel and seal in a plastic bag. Refrigerate.